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 in the 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.
The surveillance programme follows a ‘Bird Trapping Monitoring Protocol’ that was developed by BirdLife Cyprus and the RSPB, in consultation with the Cyprus Game & Fauna Service and the British Sovereign Base Area (SBA) Police at the start of the programme.
The monitoring is undertaken by visiting a random selection of sample squares (1 km2
) during daytime hours, with a focus on detecting mist netting activity and limesticks are recorded if they are found while searching for mist nets. The squares selected are stratified to ensure a representative coverage of areas under SBA Administration and the Republic of Cyprus.
The surveillance programme is undertaken in close co-operation with the competent authorities of the Republic of Cyprus (the Game & Fauna Service and the Cyprus Police Anti-poaching unit) and the SBA Police. When trapping paraphernalia is found, the BirdLife Cyprus team contacts the relevant enforcement authorities and reports its findings on the same day. It should be noted that the BirdLife Cyprus never enters private and fenced properties, never confronts suspected trappers and never removes trapping paraphernalia.
Below you can find the reports from 2010, presenting and analysing the findings from our surveillance programme.