A recent report by the Auditor General, looking into the Game and Fauna Service revealed that, in 2015, the Game and Fauna Service spent 5 times more money on captive breeding of Chukar Partridges to be released for hunting than it did on habitat management actions.
Specifically, the report states that in 2015 the Game and Fauna Service spent €429,258 on the breeding of chukar partridges compared to €80,379 spent on habitat management/improvement. BirdLife Cyprus considers the mismatch in spending between conservation actions and the spending on artificially boosting game, highlighted in the report, to be a case of the state getting its priorities wrong.
Rather than spending almost half a million euros on breeding easy-target chukars, the Game and Fauna Service could be spending this money managing our precious habitats – starting with designated Natura 2000 sites. We believe that proper management of habitats can help increase game numbers naturally and can benefit a plethora of other species as well.
The Auditor’s report also identified many inconsistencies in Game and Fauna Service record-keeping. The report noted that procedure was not followed on multiple occasions relating to prosecution of poachers. Lack of follow up on unpaid fines and court sentences, re-issuing of licenses to hunters who should have been banned, and improper record keeping regarding the handling of evidence, as well as others, were all issues brought up in the auditor’s report.
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BirdLife Cyprus is the national partner of BirdLife International, a unique global partnership of conservation organisations working locally to deliver long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people.