Authorities fined a 40-year-old man €11,000, after he was caught by Game Fund officers in possession of two turtle doves in a game reserve area in Limassol, police said on Saturday.

The man had been caught by Game Fund officers in an area in Erimi at around 8am Saturday.

He was in possession of a hunting shotgun, five live rounds, and two freshly killed turtle doves, police said.

Police officers were called to the scene where they collected the firearm, ammunition, and the birds. The 40-year-old was taken to Episkopi police station in connection with illegal transportation of a firearm and munitions during closed season, hunting in a prohibited area, and killing wild birds.

He was issued with an €11,020 fine.

The Game Fund had warned last month that fines for killing or harassing any species of wildlife were particularly strict between March and August because it was considered a reproduction period.

Considering its importance, people should be aware the fine for killing, catching, harassing, or chasing any species of wildlife by any manner, including limesticks, is €8,000, the Fund said.

A €1,000 fine is also added for hunting in prohibited areas since all areas are considered off limits during this period.

The Fund warned that the fine increases depending on the species involved, the number, and the time the offence took place.