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Iconic birds of prey fall victim to reckless shooting

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Long-legged Buzzard © John Pieroua

The Game and Fauna Service (GFS) and BirdLife Cyprus condemn the recent shooting of two iconic birds of prey, found in the Cypriot countryside only days apart.

We recognize that no conscientious hunter would stoop so low and bring shame to the hunting community, but unfortunately such isolated incidents do occur, the result of irresponsible behavior of a minority that do not represent the hunting community as a whole.

© Stavros Georgiou (left), © Constantinos Antoniou (right)

The Goshawk Accipiter gentilis, which was found in Machairas forest and was handed over to the GFS, had a wing injury, which, as confirmed by the x-ray, was caused by a gunshot. The bird was operated on and is being treated at the GFS Rehabilitation Center until it is ready to be released back to nature. 

X-ray of the shot Long-legged Buzzard © John Pieroua


The Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus found in Avdimou was not so lucky, as it died soon after it was found. Although the cause of death is not known, the x-ray showed gun pellets in various parts of the bird’s body.

We call on the public to report such incidents to the Game and Fauna Service so those who break the law face the consequences of their actions. That way, neither the wildlife nor the conscientious hunters have to pay the price for the actions of a few. The public can call the Game and Fauna Service at the following numbers: Nicosia 99-445697, Limassol 99-445728, Larnaca / Famagusta 99-634325, Paphos 99-445679.

The fine for shooting threatened protected birds is 16,000 euros, and 2,000 euros for shooting other protected birds.

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