Europe and Central Asia
13 Oct 2011

UPDATE: over 866,000 birds slaughtered so far this autumn in Cyprus! - Sign the petition to stop this now!

By BirdLife.Cyprus

Disastrously, the number of birds killed on limesticks and in mist nets in Cyprus this autumn is increasing sharply, reaching over 860,000 by October 9th…and it is still growing. The rising death toll from this illegal and ecologically damaging activity is being tracked by BirdLife Cyprus’s field team and published on the BirdLife Cyprus website

In a bid to raise awareness about this growing problem, an on-line petition calls for immediate action from the responsible Cypriot Ministers.

The toll is estimated on the basis of field data from BirdLife’s ongoing field monitoring of trapping activity with mist nets and limesticks, part of a systematic surveillance programme. This latest estimate – 866,905 birds- represents the number of birds killed between Thursday 1st September and Sunday 9th October 2011.

The trappers are after Blackcaps and other songbirds, which will end up as illegal, and expensive, ambelopoulia delicacies served up in law-breaking restaurants, allowing the trappers to make huge profits.

The first estimate for the autumn 2011 season, posted on September 12th, was for almost 90,000 birds, but trapping has gained pace since then. The estimate will be updated every Monday until the end of October. So far- and many thanks to all the people who have supported our campaign so far – almost 10,000 people have signed.

“The trapping is out of control this autumn – we are witnessing a slaughter on a massive scale. The non-selective nature of nets and limesticks means that not just blackcaps and other warblers, but also nightjars, owls, shrikes, flycatchers and dozens of other species are being taken. Please help us put pressure on the authorities to re-double enforcement efforts and target the law-breaking restaurants serving ambelopoulia”, said Martin Hellicar, Campaigns Manager of BirdLife Cyprus.

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If you have not already signed the petition please do and please spread the word.

To see the initial article on this please click here or visit

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