BirdLife Cyprus, the Cyprus Conservation Foundation Terra Cypria, Friends of the Earth Cyprus, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) and the Foundation Pro Biodiversity (SPA) are strongly opposed to the ‘alternative plan’ that was included in the Strategic Plan for tackling illegal trapping of wild birds, at the last moment, by the Ministry of Interior and which was approved by the Ministerial Council on the 13th May 2015. For the reasons why these organisations are strongly opposed to the 'alternative plan', please click here (revised July 2015).

For the Strategic Action Plan against the illegal trapping of birds, as it was developed through the participatory workshops in 2013 and which was adopted by most stakeholders in April 2014, please click here.

BirdLife Cyprus, with the support of NABU (BirdLife Germany) and the Heinz Sielmann Stiftung, has produced a short animation film for children to communicate important messages about the illegal trapping of birds, as part of the educational presentations that BirdLife Cyprus does. The animation was created by Zedem Media.



BirdLife Cyprus continues strong on its anti-trapping awareness campaign with the release of new stickers and newspaper clippings (February 2014). These actions are funded by the MAVA Foundation.


Update yourself regularly on the progress of the campaign in the following months.

To read our new brochure on illegal trapping click here.

According to article 9 of the European Birds Directive (2009/147/EC, formerly 79/409/EEC), trapping methods that are non-selective or are used for large-scale capture or killing of birds are prohibited in European Member States. Such forbidden methods include limesticks and mist nets which are detailed in Annex IV of the Birds Directive. In a bid to harmonize with the Birds Directive, the Cypriot government has passed the Wildlife Protection and Management Law (152(I)/2003). According to article 44 of the Cyprus law, limesticks and mist nets, among others, are banned. The law also prohibits hunting or trapping of song birds or ambelopoulia, which are a protected species. You can download the Cyprus legislation from the Game and Fauna Service website, here (in Greek).

Please click here for the list (revised January 2017) of 154 bird species found trapped on nets and limesticks.

The campaign against illegal bird trapping is one of the key activities of BirdLife Cyprus. A systematic, continuous surveillance programme regarding illegal bird trapping in Cyprus was developed and implemented by BirdLife Cyprus and the RSPB (BirdLife partner in UK) in consultation with the competent authorities, and has been ongoing since 2002. Thanks to this monitoring programme, BirdLife Cyprus has the longest record of field data and is able to deduce reliable long term trends and have an overview of the bird trapping situation. 

Though an important one, the field monitoring programme is only one aspect of our anti-trapping campaign. The activities of BirdLife Cyprus include lobbying, educational and awareness raising actions such as high profile meetings, the publication of press releases and electronic petitions, participation in TV and radio broadcasts and the development of visual material. The key message BirdLife Cyprus wants to convey is that bird trapping is an illegal, non-selective and cruel practice that is still used extensively in Cyprus and which involves the large-scale and indiscriminate killing of thousands of birds of over 150 different species, including many endangered ones. These trapped birds are offered illegally in restaurants as a ‘delicacy’ at prices ranging from 40-80 euros (or more) per dozen and is now a lucrative business of millions of euros, controlled to a large extent by organised crime. It has become clear that illegal bird trapping will only stop with the adoption and implementation of a ‘zero tolerance’ approach and BirdLife Cyprus promises to continue its fight until this is achieved.

Photos: BirdLife Cyprus


First European Conference on Illegal Bird Killing

The first pan-European conference regarding illegal bird killing took place in Larnaca(Cyprus) between 6 -8 July 2011. Co-organised by the Bern Convention and the Game and Fauna Service, the three-day conference dealt with illegal bird killing across Europe. Emphasis was given to the problem of poisoning, which affects many bird species in many countries (including the Griffon Vulture in Cyprus). The main issue discussed, however, was the ambelopoulia problem in Cyprus, with relevant presentations from the Game Service , SBA Police, Terra Cypria and BirdLife Cyprus. The conference adopted a series of recommendations on the issue of illegal bird killing, with the focus on the need for a ‘zero tolerance’ approach, the urgent need to bolster enforcement, the development of communication strategies and the need for systematic monitoring of the problem.

Please click on the links below to read the ‘Larnaca Declaration’ pledged by all participants, and the recommendations of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention that followed the conference: 

The Larnaca Declaration (pdf)

Recommendation No.155 (2011) of the Standing Committee (pdf)


Here you can find a video which shows mist nets with a total length of 400 meters in just one location detected a few days ago (February 2014), highlighting the extent of the problem and the fact that this illegal activity has become a lucrative business for Cyprus, with organized trappers making thousands of euros every year.

Click here for the relevant Press Release.