Zypern – 19. 08. 2021
CABS fear another massacre of protected migratory birds after government lists poaching hotspot, known as the ‘Bee-eater cemetery’, as official hunting area
Birdwatchers have criticized the Cyprus government for allowing hunters to shoot migratory birds in one of the worst poaching hotspots of the island. The official map with the designated hunting areas and dates for the upcoming hunting season was released a few days ago by Game and Fauna Service and also includes the Meneou area, which last September gained notoriety after CABS members documented massacres of protected migratory birds near Lake Soros. The finds created a public outrage and shocked bird conservationists all over Europe.
“On the site hundreds of protected birds- including many species of conservation concern - have been shot illegally by dozens of hunters that visit the area daily. The victims included bee-eaters, barn swallows, hoopoes, rollers, night herons, owls and anything else that flies, even bats” explains CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Bostjan Debersek. “Last year we investigated the area and found out that also the hunting site itself is irregular, as part of it is within the boundaries of the protected area of Larnaka Salt Lakes and most of it does not respect minimum distances from people’s homes as required by law”.
Despite the clear evidence provided by CABS and BirdLife Cyprus regarding numerous illegalities and irregularities, the area has been designated for hunting ‘legal’ species again, showing once again the complete failure of the authorities to protect wild birds in favour of the demands of the hunting lobby. CABS has repeated its call to the government to draw the consequences and remove the Meneou area from the list of designated hunting areas before the opening of the season on the 22nd of August.
Whilst calling for clear ‘no hunting’ signage and effective enforcement, CABS members will be monitoring the situation daily and reporting any illegal activity to avoid another predictable massacre.
Contact for more information: CABS Investigations Officer Andrea Rutigliano, +39 346 9484460 or Email to firstname.lastname@example.org