WATCH: Thousands of protected eagles & migratory birds slaughtered in Lebanon
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Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) publish a short video documenting our joint operations with local partners from Middle Eastern Sustainable Hunting Centre (MESHC) and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) in September and October 2023. The footage show our activists documenting illegal mass-killings of Lesser Spotted Eagles, Short-toed-Eagles, Black Kites, Levant Sparrowhawks, Honey Buzzards, Montagus´s Harriers, Marsh Harriers Kestrels and Hobbys in the district of Akkar, Northern Lebanon.
Some days later our teams return to the sites. But this time they are accompanied by armed officers from the Lebanese Internal Security Forces who are able to disarm and arrest a total of 14 poachers.
Watch now our new YouTube video here.
Valencia bird protection camp has come to an end
A Hard Day’s Night! Our bird protection camp against poaching in eastern Spain is now complete. Together with the Environmental Police Unit (‘SEPRONA’), we have caught 13 bird trappers in the region around Valencia within two weeks. The trappers in this region specialise in catching and killing song thrushes migrating during the night. They lure the passing birds to their trapping sites (called ‘Parany’) using electronic decoys with loud song thrush calls. The police officers were able to dismantle around 1,500 limesticks, 19 mist set nets and 38 clap nets. Our teams are now expanding anti-poaching operations south into Andalusia.
More information regarding our campaigns and operations in Spain can be found here.
Cyprus - trapping site with 255 limsticks discovered
During a field investigation near the town of Sotira, our CABS team were alerted to a professional poacher at one of the largest active limestick trapping sites we have discovered in recent times. The man had set out 255 barbaric glue traps and had already caught 20 warblers - mainly blackcaps (photo) with the help of an electro-acoustic decoy lure in the early hours of the morning. Wardens from the Game & Fauna Service were called in and convicted the man on-site. Since the beginning of September, we have now caught 37 bird trappers and 6 hunters and the police and game wardens have seized 1476 limesticks, 57 trapping nets, 80 decoys and directly saved >700 songbirds from illegal traps!
How Maltese hunters are stealing our natural heritage
While great efforts are being made in almost all EU countries to conserve endangered species, Malta's hunters, poachers and even the government itself are flouting all applicable laws. The shooting of protected and endangered species remains widespread across the Maltese archipelago, in addition to thousands of trapping sites. The government in Valetta supports poaching and bird-trapping through absurd derogations, thereby undermining the EU Birds Directive in plain sight. Sean Montebello from "The Shift News" has written an article on the Maltese bird protection drama that is well worth reading. It's well worth a read!
Bird Protection Camp Brescia: 26 poachers caught already
In Brescia, northern Italy, our big bird conservation camp has now been running for 2 weeks. The more than 30 participants from Italy, Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland have been able to locate over 40 active trapping sites for songbirds in the mountains between Lake Iseo and Lake Garda. Following our tips, the police have so far convicted 25 bird trappers, and around 470 bird traps and almost 40 trapping nets have been seized. A hunter who had used illegal live decoys was also caught - the animals and a hunting weapon were confiscated. The operation will continue until mid-November.
Read more about the bird protection camp in Brescia here.
Cypriot Hunters Associations' false claims fuel violence.
CABS has accused the Cypriot hunting lobby of staging a smear campaign of bullying and harassment against law abiding conservationists who continue to expose illegal hunting and bird trapping. During a rally in Paralimni last weekend, President of the Hunting Association of Liopetri, Costas Michael stated that “The hunter has been financially exterminated by exhaustive fines allowed to be imposed.” Yet in the same breath, also went on to denounce poaching. A number of false allegations invented by members of the Hunting Association of Liopetri have circulated in local media recently that CABS activists are disturbing legal hunting, thus leading to a significant increase in violence against our field teams with severe incidents in the last few weeks alone. Read todays full press release here.
Action against bird trappers in Malta.
The illegal capture and sale of linnets, greenfinches, hawfinchess and other finches is a big business in Malta, with which unscrupulous bird traders and poachers earn hundreds of thousands of Euros every year. In order to cut off the sellers' supply, CABS teams are currently carrying out a large-scale operation against illegal bird trapping on the islands of Malta and Gozo. Last week, two bird trappers were caught red-handed. One of the perpetrators was caught by the police directly at his trapping site near Rabat. In another case, our team was able to film a trapper dismantling his nets and collecting decoy birds near Marsalforn (Gozo). The man has since been identified from the video footage. The current CABS camp will continue until the beginning of November.
Lebanon: Action against bird trapping in Barja
As seems to have become a seasonal event on the CABS calendar, in recent days our team in Lebanon together with our Lebanese partners from MESHC & SPNL conducted dawn raids against migratory bird trappers in the hotspot town of Barja, south of Beirut. A total of eight active trapping sites with decoy callers and large mist-nets were identified. Together with support from the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, our teams moved in to dismantle the nets and catch the poachers. In total 9 large mist nets were seized and around a dozen birds were rescued and released from the nets. 3 trappers were caught red-handed and should be prosecuted in due course.
Read more about our operations in Lebanon here
Cyprus - saving owls together with the United Nations
In the UN-monitored demilitarized zone between the Turkish north and the Greek south of Cyprus, we have managed to strike a blow against poaching for the second time this fall. In this no-man's land, bird poaching is widespread. After we had already caught a poacher with a net in September together with the UN police officers, we were now able to catch two perpetrators in the act again. Two nets were taken down and 20 limesticks have been collected, besides 50 songbirds also a long-eared owl could be saved. We
often find birds caught in the traps and the decoy callers also
attract birds of prey – so we frequently find owls also caught in traps –
or killed by poachers and dumped nearby. Indeed, on this site we found
also some dead little owls.
Raptor migration towards Lebanon.
Millions of birds of prey are currently migrating south across the Mediterranean. On their way to their wintering grounds, the birds will soon reach the most dangerous part of their journey - Lebanon. Here, honey buzzards are the most persecuted bird of prey during migration, with an estimated tens of thousands of birds falling victim to poachers every year.
The majority are ruthlessly shot from the sky simply for "fun". CABS is sending an international team in the coming days to work with local bird conservationists to document illegal shootings and bring poachers to justice with the authorities.
Find our more about our anti-poaching work in Lebanon here.
Your donation makes the difference!
Your donation will enable us to fund our campaigns and bird protection camps throughout Europe, to keep up the fight for migratory birds. CABS is almost exclusively financed with private donations, from nature and animal lovers, as well as foundations and nature conservation associations. In order to stay independent, we do not receive public funds and we refuse business sponsorships. CABS is recognised as non-profit, thus, donations are tax-deductible. For a donation of 25 € or more, you will receive a donation receipt at the beginning of the following year.