News Local British Bases make progress against killing of songbirds

British Bases make progress against killing of songbirds

There has been a 72% reduction in illegal killings of songbirds in the British Base of Dhekelia in the last year, progress which Britain’s armed forces minister Mark Lancaster has hailed as a success, the Guardian reported on Thursday.

Lancaster, who was in Cyprus last week, visited Cape Pyla in the British sovereign base of Dhekelia to see for himself the confiscated equipment trappers use.

Bird Life Cyprus describes Cape Pyla as a bird killing hot spot because of invasive acacia planted for trapping purposes.

“Today we are here to mark a success story,” Lancaster told the Guardian. “I was getting a huge number of letters expressing concern and it is very nice to be able to report back that there has been such a reduction.”

And he pledged that the effort will continue.  “It’s very encouraging that we have had success but we are not going to be complacent. We will continue.”

No other place in Cyprus is targeted as much by poachers as the British base area. From August to October, base authorities are engaged in campaign that has become increasingly high-tech, the Guardian said.

In the last year, thermal-imaging drones, night-vision goggles and hidden cameras have been deployed by police on the base, who are also equipped with stun guns.

Ambushes are common, with officers reporting fights, and worse, when they encounter trappers. Several have been injured.

“We’ve had shotguns fired at our feet, rottweilers let loose on us, vehicles that have tried to run us over, all because we have taken a more robust approach,” Sgt Andy Adamou, who was honoured during Lancaster’s visit for the courage he had shown during one especially tense showdown, told the Guardian. “They see us as a threat to their livelihoods. And as long as there is demand, there will be the need for supply.”

Earlier this year, Bird Life Cyprus said a striking reduction in bird trapping was achieved in Cyprus in autumn 2017, thanks to effective enforcement, combined with newly deterrent sentencing and operations targeting trapping areas.

But it stressed that action must continue, saying that more and continued action was called for to ensure this positive step is turned into a permanent end to large-scale trapping.

Despite the fall in mist netting in the main autumn killing season, it is still estimated that up to 610,000 birds could have been killed across Cyprus in autumn 2017, it added.

Photo credit Bird Life Cyprus

Top Stories

Labor Minister: Support schemes averted drastic rise in unemployment

The package launched by the government to support employees and businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic has averted a drastic rise in unemployment, Minister of...

Law for protection of welfare of animals voted

The Ministry of Agriculture hailed the voting of the bill to protect the welfare of animals by the plenary session of Parliament this afternoon. According...

EU fines Teva, Cephalon 60.5 mln euros for delaying cheaper drug

The European Commission on Thursday (November 26) fined pharmaceutical company Teva and its now subsidiary Cephalon 60.5 million euros for agreeing to delay a...

‘Smart and green’ cities in Cyprus soon, Chief Scientist tells CNA

Can research and innovation provide solutions to better serve the citizen and reduce pollution in cities? The answer is that in practice this does...

Economic sentiment records slight drop in November

Economic sentiment in Cyprus deteriorated slightly in November, a business survey by the Economics Research Centre of the University of Cyprus, published on Thursday,...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...