Zypern – 01. 12. 2020
Notorious bird trappers caught during the 11th hour of autumn season in Cyprus
Trapping paraphernalia and almost 370 freshly killed birds seized
Joint statement by Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) & BirdLife Cyprus
In an early November operation, and acting on information supplied by BirdLife Cyprus and CABS, the Cyprus Police raided a notorious trapping site in Larnaca district. The coordinated raid also covered the nearby homes of suspected trapping ring members. The operation resulted in a total of over €11,000 in on-the-spot fines being handed down to three suspects, representing the most effective recent action against a suspected ‘big’ trapper.
Search warrants were used to gain access to several properties, including the trapping site itself. In total, police confiscated five mist nets, five calling devices and 366 dead birds, all of protected species. Three people received combined fines of €11,660.
The operation came after persistent pressure on the authorities from BirdLife and CABS.
“Since the beginning of autumn, CABS and BirdLife Cyprus field teams regularly visited the trapping location and, on every visit, witnessed a wholesale massacre of protected migratory birds. Each night, loud electronic callers were heard playing in order to attract blackcaps and in the mornings the group of trappers were seen erecting mist nets. They were then seen driving the birds into the nets by throwing stones into the trees and bushes around the nets,” said CABS Investigations Officer Bostjan Debersek.
Video evidence of the trapping activity at this site was gathered and shared with the relevant enforcement authorities, while both NGOs put pressure on the relevant Cyprus authorities to take action.
CABS and BirdLife Cyprus welcome this anti-poaching operation and the high fines issued to these notorious trappers and call for continued action at this and other known big trapping sites in Cyprus.
“Based on the history of this site, we call on the authorities to proactively monitor the trapping location this winter and during the next autumn season, in order to prevent future illegalities with the intention of killing protected birds for profit. We also want to see similar effective action, by both the Police and the Game & Fauna Service, against other notorious and persistent trappers,” said Tassos Shialis, Campaigns Coordinator at BirdLife Cyprus.