There are bird trappers and hunters who make a lot of money with birds. Big profits can be made in areas where a certain species is considered as a delicacy. A good example is the Ortolan trapping in the south of France. The ‘gourmets’ restaurants often charge up to 200€ for a single Ortolan drowned and grilled in Armagnac, weighing barely more than 30 grams. In Cyprus, warblers have gone from poor people's food to becoming a popular superfood – ‘Ambeloupoulia’ a dish with 5 warblers can cost around 40€. Highly organised Poacher gangs have established themselves in Cyprus, earning millions of euros with the illegally caught songbirds.
Another aspect of the commercial exploitation of bird populations is hunting trips. Those who feel restricted by hunting laws and regulations in their native country can book a trip abroad. In addition to the well-known big game hunts, bird hunting trips - e.g. geese in Argentina, ducks in Italy or larks in Romania - are also very popular.
Hunting and trapping are usually not linked to poverty. Rather, it is an occupation for people who can afford it. Economic growth in a country does not necessarily mean that trapping and hunting will decline. The opposite is often the case, because people often become aware of the "traditions" when they are no longer fighting for survival; they have more time and money to indulge in such "hobbies".
During our bird protection camps, we investigate people with strong economic interests in exploiting birds. They are more cunning than simple traditionalists; and generally more violent.