BirdLife Cyprus issued its latest report findings for the autumn season in 2015, which was based on its surveillance programme on illegal bird trapping.
The Famagusta region is known to be the worst case in the world in terms of illegal bird activity, as over 2 million birds are estimated to have been killed across the island last year.
The NGO, which dedicates itself to the conservation of wild birds and their habitats in Cyprus, said 19km of net rides were active during the autumn season of 2015 within the survey area covering Larnaca – Famagusta and Ayios Theodoros – Maroni areas and more than 5,300 lime sticks were confiscated by enforcement agencies.
Cyprus’ already negative image took a further hit last year when Famagusta MP Evgenios Hamboullas posted a photo on Facebook showing himself at the table with the protected species served up for dinner.
But there is some good news too.
“Mist netting activity for autumn 2015 has decreased by 13% compared to 2002, a positive outcome comparing to the record breaking levels recorded in autumn 2014,” said the report.
Despite encouraging data for this year, BirdLife Cyprus continues to call for abandoning plans to introduce an alternative plan on the island which would decriminalise the killing of wild birds under what the government has termed “Strategic Action Plan adopted by the Cyprus Government” in last May.
Currently, based on national legislation, it is illegal to possess, kill or trade protected birds, as well as offer and consume them in restaurants.
In January, the European Commission gave a definitive and final “no” to Nicosia on any thoughts the island might have on looking for ways to bend the law on protected song birds known locally as ambelopoulia.