Illegal trappers in action caught on film

12 April 2017

Undercover footage of birds being caught in mist nets and killed by trappers in Larnaka district during autumn 2016, recently released by the RSPB Investigations team. Be warned this includes some grisly scenes.

The RSPB footage captures the raw reality of illegal trapping with mist nets in a notorious trapping site in a remote area west of Larnaka, within the Republic of Cyprus. A relevant article by the RSPB Investigations team can be found here, describing the organised nature of the trapping site. The footage was first released on 16 March 2017, the same day the Autumn 2016 trapping report, highlighting the unacceptably high levels of bird trapping, was published jointly by BirdLife Cyprus and the RSPB. We are posting it again to accompany the short film released yesterday by UK naturalist Chris Packham.
The video shows two trappers hard at work, flushing birds into mist nets, removing them from the nets, killing them with a bite to the neck and later collecting their catch from the ground. It is estimated that around 200 birds were killed in just a few hours, an illegal haul probably worth around 400 Euros when sold either to law breaking restaurants that serve ‘ambelopoulia’ or for domestic consumption. These images highlight the indiscriminate, large scale slaughter of migratory birds in Cyprus. Our island has become one of the worst illegal bird killing hotspots in the Mediterranean, as underlined in the recent BirdLife International review.

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