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Cyprus: Songbirds, poached and eaten

Game Warden

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Reports www.telegraph.co.uk.

The worst area in Cyprus for poaching is the British military base on Cape Pyla. The British may be the bird-lovingest people in Europe, but the base, which leases its extensive firing ranges to Cypriot farmers, is in a delicate position diplomatically; after one recent enforcement sweep by the Army, twenty-two Sovereign Base Area signs were torn down by angry locals. Off the base, enforcement is hampered by logistics and politics.

To read the full article click here.


Whilst not a new story, this part sticks out:

Because large-scale poachers are nowadays straight-up criminals, the officers are also afraid of violent attacks. “The biggest problem is that no one in Cyprus, not even the politicians, comes out and says that eating ambelopoulia is wrong,” the director of the Game Fund, Pantelis Hadjigerou, told me. Indeed, the recordholder for most ambelopoulia eaten in one sitting (fifty-four) was a popular politician in north Cyprus.

It's not a case of a couple of people trapping birds in their backgardens, at least not according to this article.

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Thanks for posting this, I read this on the weekend and considered posting it myself but I couldn't find it on the web when I first looked. This is the part that I found most shocking


Every spring, some five billion birds come flooding up from Africa to breed in Eurasia, and every year as many as a billion are killed deliberately by humans, most notably on the migratory flyways of the Mediterranean


If true that's a staggering number of birds. I'm not at all surprised about politicians eating still eating small birds, the late President Mitterand famously ate ortolan for is last meal dispite the fact that it's illegal. Ortolan is French for bunting though I think the name is applied to other small birds when they're cooked.


I'm afraid as with so many other conservation issues the problem is largely cultural and despite regular campaigns by the RSPB and their European partner organisations I can't see any real progress being made to halt this uncontrolled slaughter anytime soon.

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