Redwing © Andreas Trepte / Wikimedia Commons

It was with great sadness that we read in the Press Release of CABS (Committee Against Bird Slaughter) and SPA (Foundation Pro Biodiversity) dated 19 January 2017 that the list of bird species affected by illegal bird trapping continues to grow. The number of bird species affected by this illegal activity has now reached 154, with the addition of the Redwing Turdus iliacus.   

The Redwing was among the species released from mist nets during a two-day anti-poaching operation carried out by CABS and SPA in January 2017 within the Dhekelia Sovereign Base area. During this operation 274 mist nets were removed. This once again confirms the large-scale and non-selective nature of the serious and persistent problem of illegal bird killing in Cyprus. 

BirdLife Cyprus developed and implemented together with the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and in consultation with the competent authorities, a systematic, continuous surveillance programme regarding illegal bird trapping in Cyprus. This surveillance programme has been ongoing since 2002, giving BirdLife Cyprus the longest record of field data and the ability to deduce reliable long term trends and have an overview of the illegal bird trapping situation in Cyprus. Illegal bird trapping in Cyprus takes place in spring, autumn and winter. Autumn remains the main illegal bird trapping season with trapping activity much higher in the SBAs, but as highlighted in our latest winter trapping report (2015-16) the situation is becoming out of control also in winter.    

Considering that around 400 bird species have been recorded in Cyprus, of which only 280 are regularly occurring, the particular importance of the number 154 becomes hard to ignore. The responsibility becomes even heavier, when 78 out of the 154 species affected by illegal bird trapping are listed as threatened by the EU Birds Directive and / or BirdLife International. To view the consolidated list with the 154 bird species affected by illegal bird killing in Cyprus, please click here.

To learn more about illegal bird killing in Cyprus, please click here.

January 2017