Early in November, the police raided a notorious trapping site in Larnaka district, acting on information supplied by BirdLife Cyprus and CABS (Committee Against Bird Slaughter). During the raid, the police also searched the suspects’ homes and as a result, 5 nets, 5 calling devices and 366 dead birds - all of which protected species - were confiscated. Three people received fines totaling €11,660, representing the most effective recent action against a suspected ‘big’ trapper.
The operation came after persistent pressure on the authorities from BirdLife and CABS, and after the securing of video evidence of the illegal trapping activity in the area, which was handed over to the authorities.
“Since the beginning of autumn, CABS and BirdLife Cyprus field teams regularly visited the trapping location and, on every visit, witnessed a wholesale massacre of protected migratory birds. Each night, loud electronic callers were heard playing in order to attract blackcaps and in the mornings the group of trappers were seen erecting mist nets. They were then seen driving the birds into the nets by throwing stones into the trees and bushes around the nets,” said CABS Investigations Officer Bostjan Debersek.
CABS and BirdLife Cyprus welcome this anti-poaching operation and the high fines issued to the suspects and call for continued action at this and other known big trapping sites in Cyprus.
“Based on the history of this site, we call on the authorities to proactively monitor the trapping location this winter and during the next autumn season, in order to prevent future illegalities with the intention of killing protected birds for profit. We also want to see similar effective action, by both the Police and the Game & Fauna Service, against other notorious and persistent trappers,” said Tassos Shialis, Campaigns Coordinator at BirdLife Cyprus.