Bird trapping in Cyprus
Bird trappers occupy a considerable part of the Greek-speaking southeast of Cyprus. From the hills near Maroni to the plains of Paralmini, the landscape is littered with trapping sites. There is no place in the EU where the density of illegal trapping sites is as high as here. In the Turkish north of Cyprus, bird-trapping is less widespread.
The situation in the cleared agricultural region of the Famagusta district is particularly dramatic. Here, limesticks and nets can be found in a significant proportion of the olive gardens. A further focus lies in the Military areas administered by Great Britain at Cape Pyla, where whole poacher gangs have settled in the predominantly deserted area. Electronic decoys are installed at the professionally organised trapping sites and fill the whole landscape with the songs of blackcaps.
The authorities find it difficult to work against bird-trapping - at our bird protection camps our teams are often on their own.
Traditionally, bird trappers in Cyprus use limesticks. Many birds such as warblers, flycatchers, redstarts, nightingales and bee-eaters meet their end on the sticky traps.
In addition to limesticks, poachers in Cyprus use nets. Professional criminal gangs in particular resort to this type of bird trapping, as many birds can be caught each day.
Electronic decoys callers
Due to the widespread use of electronic decoys, the bird-trapping sites in Cyprus are some of the most effective in Europe.
Bird trapping on the British military bases
In the south of Cyprus lie extensive and deserted British military areas, where professional bird-trapping gangs operate huge net installations catching thousands of birds each year.
Song-birds as a delicacy
"Ambelopoulia" is the traditional song-bird dish in Cyprus. Grilled warblers, nightingales and flycatchers are considered as gourmets and people spend a lot of money.
In Cyprus, landowners install disused trapping nets along their borders to keep snakes away. However, thousands of reptiles, hedgehogs and birds die in the webs.