Zypern – 02. 10. 2022
Rare species of fruit bat found caught in poachers' bird trapping net in Cyprus.
Egyptian fruit bat, belonging to a rare and rapidly declining bat species, was found caught in a mist-net at a bird trapping site near Vrysoules, Cyprus.
Cyprus. Members of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) located a bird trapping site with 2 large mist-nets and an electronic bird calling device near Vrysoules last night and reported it to the police officers on duty. Five wild birds, all blackcaps and one specimen of rare Egyptian Fruit were found caught in the nets and were freed and released safely by the CABS members. The nets were dismantled by police officers.
The Egyptian fruit bat is one of 19 bat species occurring in Cyprus and the only one which eats fruits. It is a species of huge importance to Cyprus’ natural heritage as Cyprus is the only European country where this rare mammal species exists. According to Haris Nicolaou, an expert on indigenous flora and fauna, fruit-eating bats were once common in Cyprus in the past, but numbers have been rapidly declining over the last 15 years and there are now just an estimated population of 1,100.
This Egyptian fruit bat is the latest in a row of rare or threatened wildlife species found caught in illegal bird traps by CABS members this autumn in Cyprus. Among 550 wild birds and some other animals, rescued from traps found by CABS activists, are also Common pipistrelle - another bat species - and rare avian species such as Cyprus Scops owl, Wryneck, Blue-throat, Barred warbler, Great Reed warbler and Thrush Nightingale.
“As long as illegal bird trapping remains widespread in Cyprus, it will not only affect the targeted species, such as Blackcaps, it will also have a significant impact on non-targeted species, with many of them being rare and endangered” said CABS Wildlife Officer Bostjan Debersek. CABS is urging the authorities to deploy more enforcement patrols, especially in the poaching hotspots within Republic of Cyprus to cope effectively with high levels of bird poaching, added Mr. Debersek.
1. Fruit bat found in the trapping net
Contact for more information: CABS Investigations Officer Andrea Rutigliano, +39 346 9484460 or Email to CABS@komitee.de