One Million Migratory Birds Slaughtered In Cyprus

NICOSIA – More than 1.1 million songbirds prized as culinary delicacies were illegally slaughtered by trappers in Cyprus in the past year, a conservation group said Tuesday.

Cyprus lies on a key migratory route and bird trapping has been commonplace for years. Trappers use either fine mist nets or sticks dipped in sticky lime.

“The figure is an unacceptable toll which ever way you look at it,” said Martin Hellicar, executive manager for Birdlife Cyprus.

bird-trapping-cyprusMany of the birds are served up as expensive delicacies in local restaurants, even though trapping and consumption is strictly banned, the group said.

Although the overall figure in trappings appeared unchanged for 2008 compared to 2007, there was a 50 percent spike in trappings during the winter of 2008 compared to the same season a year earlier, Hellicar said.

A report on the situation, compiled by Birdlife Cyprus and Britain’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, has been submitted to a wildlife committee of the Council of Europe, the Cypriot government and the European Commission.

About 90 percent of the migratory birds which fly from Europe to warmer climates over Cyprus each year are protected, and also include threatened species.

Trapping using fine mist nets spread over trees is a common method, along with lime sticks placed in bushes. Birdsong recordings are used as a lure.

The birds, known as “ampelopoulia” are served in restaurants for up to five euros apiece. They are normally fried, wrapped in vine leaves to conceal from other possibly disapproving patrons and consumed whole.ambelopoulia

Source: Planet ark


4 Responses

  1. Hi!
    thank you for the comment and I do understand your distress… however, legally the hunting season ends soon and as long as they are more than 500m. from the last residence, it is perfectly legal. As you suggested, this ”hobby” is not only a cultural attribute of the Cretans or Greeks and even though various forms of hunting have been banned in many countries, many others still exist and many people also go abroad on canned hunts and so forth. Unfortunately, these attitudes can only be changed through education of the future generations and social change itself…
    Thank you for commenting!

  2. Why are so few Greeks and Cretans sensitive to these issues. After several months in Crete I have been subjected to the cruelty of dogs and cats. Now in the Apokoronas area both dawn and dusk sound like a war zone as the sound of gunshots reduce the numbers of migratory songbirds….I came across an empty box of cartridges that littered the ground alongside hundreds of spent cartridge cases…and on it was the picture of a songbird.

    The tradition of shooting as many birds as possible on Christmas day in America was successfully transformed into a Bird count day…that was in the early 1900’s.

  3. It is indeed very sad…

  4. It is disgusting how people use animals to earn money… These birds have flown often for thousands of kilometers, withstanding dangers of all kind, to end up in a horouble way, with the human being as the biggest enemy.

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