BirdLife Cyprus successfully organized a workshop titled ‘Workshop on best practices for tackling wildlife crime: bird trapping, poisoning and illegal trade’ on July 18, 2016 in Nicosia, with the support of the MAVA Foundation. Various government departments (Environment Department, Veterinary Services, Customs, Game and Fauna Service, Cyprus Police Anti-poaching Unit), environmental organizations (Terra Cypria, Friends of the Earth Cyprus, Hellenic Ornithological Society) as well as an expert from the Natural History Museum of Crete attended the workshop.
The aim of the workshop was to provide an overview on wildlife crime regarding illegal bird trapping, poisoning and illegal trade in Cyprus, as well as to present and to discuss in particular best practices regarding the poisoning issue.
The presentations made by the invited experts regarding poisoning were particularly helpful and informative. The first one was about a Life+ project titled ‘The Return of the Neophron’ by the Hellenic Ornithological Society, where the poisoning situation in northern Greece was presented as well as the actions undertaken by the project to address it, which included actions on awareness raising, seminars, creation of networks at a local level and the development of teams for the detection of poisoned baits with the use of trained dogs. The second presentation was from an expert from the Natural History Museum of Crete who presented alternative methods that can be used for the control of problematic species, in order to avoid the use of illegal poisoned baits.
BirdLife Cyprus aims to start more coordinated action, with key stakeholders, to address the issue of poisoning, especially after the extensive vulture poisoning incident that took place earlier this year (read relevant article in February 2016).