Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e.V. Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e. V.
Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

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Griechenland – 22. 05. 2024

Zakynthos is a hotspot for illegal bird poaching – CABS. Nine poachers caught red-handed after reports from the NGO.

Zakynthos is one of the worst blackspots for illegal spring hunting of migratory birds in Europe and local authorities are struggling to get the situation under control. This is the bottom line of a report from an international team of environmentalists from the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) who have monitored the situation on the island this spring. The organisation said that despite an official hunting ban, hundreds of hunters were observed shooting at birds in April and May. Several cases were reported to the police, who were able to catch nine suspects red-handed. For other cases, CABS will provide the authorities with video evidence which should be sufficient to establish the identity of the poachers involved. During their inspections the activists also found and mapped more than 130 freshly used hunting hides as well as 10 freshly shot protected birds, among them golden oriole, cuckoo, swifts, collared dove and turtle doves - species of international conservation concern.

„As our teams only searched a small part of the island it is safe to assume that what we found is just the tip of the iceberg“, CABS Campaigns and Operations Officer Lloyd Scott said, adding that the areas with the highest poaching activity were the hills around Gerakari and the peninsulas of Vasilikos and Keri, where during one of the last operations two poachers were caught red-handed after CABS alerted the police. „When they saw the police coming the men started to get rid of the evidence and stashed away their guns. Luckily the officers were able to retrieve the weapons and confiscated them as corpus delicti“ Scott reported. He also described how huge parts of the Keri peninsula – a major tourist attraction - have been transformed into a „hunting park“ with countless hunting hides connected through footpaths and trees being logged to allow a better view and easier killing of incoming birds. On peak migration days the area sounds like a warzone with hundreds of shots fired per hour and tens of thousand of empty cartridge cases scattered around the countryside, CABS continued.

„The situation is totally out of control and the proof is there for all to see“. CABS therefore repeated its call upon the government to no longer tolerate this selfish and illegal activity and instead use a zero-tolerance policy to prevent further damage to bird populations and to Zakynthos as a tourist destination. To achieve this, patrols of the forest service should be massively increased as well as the fines for those caught poaching, CABS stated. To ensure that all legal measures are being exhausted, CABS announced that its teams will come back to Zakynthos in 2025. „We are prepared to continue and expand our operations on Zakynthos and to further enhance our good working relationship with local authorities“, Scott concluded.

For more information e-mail our CABS Press Office via CABS[at]komitee.de.