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Over 400,000 Songbirds Were Slain in Cyprus by Organized Crime!


CNS NewsA Recent Report Reveals a disturbing trend of wildlife crime in Cyprus, with more than 400,000 songbirds trapped and killed last autumn. Organized crime networks employ decoys and speakers playing birdsong to lure small birds, including garden favorites like robins and sparrows, before trapping them for sale as a local delicacy called “Ambelopoulia.”

The practice of trapping songbirds for human consumption has been outlawed in Cyprus since 1974, yet it continues on an industrial scale. Despite efforts to reduce bird trapping, last year saw a significant increase in the number of birds killed compared to previous years.

Cyprus serves as a crucial stopover for birds migrating between Europe and Africa, making the mass killings a significant conservation concern. Blackcaps, flycatchers, chiffchaffs, and other species targeted by trappers are already experiencing steep declines in populations.

Authorities have identified extensive netting operations, with a notable increase in activity within the British military base in Cyprus. The reduction in resources for anti-poaching units has exacerbated the problem, highlighting the importance of continued enforcement efforts to combat wildlife crime.

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Conservation organizations like BirdLife Cyprus, the RSPB, and the Committee Against Birds Slaughter (Cabs) are working to raise awareness and promote behavioral change to protect songbirds. Efforts include educational campaigns aimed at fostering appreciation for birds and discouraging their consumption.

Despite progress in recent years, the resurgence of bird trapping underscores the ongoing challenges in combating organized wildlife crime. Continued collaboration between authorities and conservation groups is essential to safeguarding migratory bird populations and preserving biodiversity.

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