Hunters kill birds in Cyprus on a mass scale, conservationists say 

Hunters kill birds in Cyprus on a mass scale, conservationists say

Illegal hunters in Cyprus have killed hundreds of thousands of birds this season, which are then served as delicacies in restaurants, according to conservation groups. 

On Wednesday, Britain’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), BirdLife Cyprus, and the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) reported that at least 435,000 birds, including blackcaps and warblers, were killed by hunters in autumn 2023.

This number is approximately 90,000 higher than the figures from autumn 2022. 

The conservation groups described illegal bird trapping as a demand-driven wildlife crime, emphasizing that the trade of trapped birds in lawbreaking restaurants is a major economic incentive for hunters.

The report found that at least 157 bird species, such as owls, kestrels, and cuckoos, have been randomly trapped. The report highlighted that 90 of these species are recognized as conservation priority species under the EU Birds Directive.

Criminal organizations use methods like mist nets or glue sticks to capture the birds. Birds caught on glue sticks must be forcibly removed by hand before being sold to restaurants. 

BirdLife Cyprus noted an increase in the use of glue methods following a reduction in fines for such offenses.

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