It’s very important to take a position against the poaching, because what happens here is about all of us.”
Once snared in traps, songbirds are sold to restaurants for the illegal but widely available delicacy “ambelopoulia” — a trade worth some $18.8 million annually.
Because Cyprus is a key stopover on the migration route of many birds, including blackcaps and warblers, the trapping mainly takes place during the autumn.
Last year, police on a British military base in Cyprus launched a new weapon in their fight against poachers, who had been responsible for large scale trapping over decades. A top-of-the-range drone, with night-vision capabilities, is already enhancing the police’s ability to cover areas which have proved difficult to reach in the past.
In many Mediterranean countries, poaching remains a lively topic of conversation, given that some locals — especially the younger generations — support hunting bans, whilst residents in many rural communities defend trapping as an ageold custom.
“It’s very important to take a position against the poaching, because what happens here is about all of us,” said Edwardo Quarda from CABS. “It concerns all the populations from Europe.”