A record low in the number of bird-trapping incidents was recorded by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) during their six-week spring protection camp in Cyprus, the NGO said on Wednesday.
According to a press release, nine volunteers from four different European countries took part in the operations which led to the prosecution of five trappers and the removal of 286 limesticks. Unlike in previous years, no nets were found during the camp, the NGO said.
“These are the lowest figures we have ever recorded in spring. It is a positive signal that at least bird trapping during the spring migration is disappearing; as the number of traps found by our teams has declined significantly,” Alexander Heyd, CABS general Director commented.
“The fines imposed for trapping in the closed hunting season are a significant deterrent, unlike those imposed in autumn (during open season). One offender was fined €8,200 for trapping with limesticks, while a second one was found in possession of limesticks and steel traps and later handed out a record penalty of €20,200. Almost all incidents of trapping, 17 in total, were recorded in Famagusta area, which remains the stronghold of trapping. Only one case was recorded in Larnaca district.”
However, the CABS press release also mentions illegal acts directed against wild animals which they witnessed.
On April 23, a hunting site was found in the area of Kokkines near Ayia Napa with a cage full of collared doves without access to water or food.
“Most of them were already dead or dying. The game wardens were called to the site and managed to release ten birds. Twelve birds were already dead, however we managed to fully recover two dying doves and release them few days later.”
On April 30, while searching for traps in the area of Kokkines, the team found three dead fox cubs beside a poisoned carcass. Two more cubs were found alive and crying out in pain. The two cubs were captured and sent to a rehabilitation centre for wild animals in Nicosia.
Those who want to report cases of illegal bird trapping can do so using the organisation’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CABS2011/