Zypern – 10. 01. 2022
2023 in Cyprus starts with a BANG...towards protected species!
CABS recorded more than 40 cases of illegal hunting at the turn of new Year: 5 poachers prosecuted.
Cyprus. In recent days, members of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) in Cyprus observed numerous cases of illegal shooting of protected birds such as serins, goldfinches, cormorants and pipits. According to CABS, despite being protected the whole year around – the birds were being targeted deliberately, as they have no similarities to huntable species.
In Famagusta district, a poacher was observed using an electronic decoy reproducing the call of meadow pipits and shot four protected birds. Another incident involved a man who shot a pipit and a serin in Oroklini, Larnaca District. Both hunters were reported to the authorities and will be sanctioned for their crimes. In the countryside in Famagusta District the birdwatchers saw a hunter disposing of three freshly shot cormorants and fleeing the area just before the game wardens arrived.
“The situation is quite worrying with illegal hunters intentionally targeting species that are protected under both national and international law.” said CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Bostjan Debersek. “Especially concerning is the fact that most of the perpetrators use illegal bird calling machines which enable them to kill masses of both huntable and protected birds”.
CABS also stated that - as a result of the mild winter in Europe, the number of huntable birds wintering on Cyprus is very low this winter thus many hunters switch to hunt protected species or use electronic bird callers to maximise their bag.
“Since 20 December, our teams recorded 34 cases of illegal hunting with callers and we are receiving more and more reports from members of the public who are increasingly aware of the harmfulness of these devices or simply feel disturbed by their loud sound emissions” explains Debersek. Following the reports of the activists, four illegal hunters (three in the Republic and one in the ESBA) were caught by the authorities while using electronic callers for song thrushes and skylarks.
CABS thank the Game and Fauna Service and the SBA police for the effective operations. However, the eNGO remains concerned regarding the rampant illegalities occurring particularly in the republic and calls for an increase of game warden patrols and for regular compliance checks to the species in the hunting bags.
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For more information contact: CABS Officers in Cyprus at +357 99823997 or Email CABS Press Office via CABS@komitee.de