In the past 10 days the British bases court in Dhekelia has issued fines to 13 bird trappers, many of whom were caught in the act by hidden surveillance cameras on the Cape Pyla ranges, the bases announced on Monday.
They were fined between €820 and €2,500 after their illegal activities were filmed by special motion-sensitive activated cameras. The evidence shows them plucking birds trapped in mist nets and killing them with pen knives.
According to the bases, the cameras had been fixed in place during the autumn migrating season last year in collaboration with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
“We are committed to deterring this cruel and illegal activity and these cases are a demonstration that we will not tolerate illegal hunting inside the bases,” bases spokesman Sean Tully said. “The use of technology is just one of our many plans to catch and convict criminals.”
The bases have worked hand-in-hand with the RSPB and also with Birdlife Cyprus to prevent illegal trapping during the last migration season and conducted over 40 collaborative operations.
“This has got to be a joint effort, we are stronger working together with a common purpose and the fruits of our collective efforts have been seen this week,” Tully added.
“We will be collaborating with both Birdlife Cyprus and the RSPB in the future migrating seasons to deter, detect and disrupt the trappers.”
In the 2016 to 2017 migratory period a total of 78 persons were arrested for bird trapping in the bases’ areas, more than 800 mist nets were recovered and more than €75,000 worth of bird trapping equipment was seized.