Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Sing a sad song of Cyprus…

David Conlin, International Proact Co-ordinator, said, in November 2001, Twenty Million Birds Are Illegally Trapped Or Shot Every Year On Cyprus - It`s Time To Put A Stop To This! Proact for Cyprus… it`s almost too late!

Sing a sad song of Cyprus?

David Conlin, International Proact Co-ordinator, said, in November 2001, Twenty Million Birds Are Illegally Trapped Or Shot Every Year On Cyprus - It`s Time To Put A Stop To This! Proact for Cyprus… it`s almost too late!A SAD STORY
Sing a song of Cyprus,
where songbirds go to die,
Four and twenty migrants,
destined for the pie,
Tavern cash-tills jingle, and profit reigns - alack,
Twenty million birds a year who never make it back!

(From the Proact 21st Century Collection of Cruel Nursery Rhymes)The Situation

Despite Cyprus supposedly harmonising hunting and environmental legislation in preparation for entry into the European Union, some 12.5 million birds were illegally trapped in the year 2000 - mainly for consumption as delicacies - and a further 7.5 million birds were shot. Almost all of these birds are protected species, some of them rare, and the illegal trapping and shooting is at its worst during spring and autumn migration periods.With legislation in place what is the problem?

As in other Mediterranean countries the problem is a combination of lack of political will (corruption, fear of losing hunters` votes, inefficiency and disinterest in a fringe problem); strong traditions based originally on diet supplementation - the proverbial Manna from Heaven; poor or deficient environmental education; and, inevitably, powerful financial interests. The (black market and therefore tax-free) annual turnover is estimated to be between $US12m and $US20m. The problem is well documented and, for those interested in further details, the More Info page on Proact`s website provides a small but varied selection of information. The Proact Campaign

Proact has been approached by local conservationists, principally the Cyprus Conservation Foundation (CCF), to assist in tackling the problem and aims to mobilise birding and conservation contacts worldwide - and encourage them to pass on the word so as to maximise publicity of the problem in the rest of Europe and the world. Through this they hope to increase the external pressure on the Cyprus Government to initiate robust and effective implementation of their current legislation. David Conlin says: We aim to remind the Cyprus Government of the need to move rapidly towards introduction of, and ensure compliance with, full European environmental legislation: The Bird Directive.There is also a need to put pressure on the British Government to play its part by initiating, through its diplomatic and military representatives on Cyprus, cooperation with the Cyprus authorities to stop massive flaunting of the law within the British Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs). The bases have often had illegal traps and shooting going on under the noses of the British military with no action being taken? something 1 million British Birders would abhor.If you are as outraged by this as the Fatbirder then go to http://proaction.tripod.com/projectcyprus/ and put your name down to help. Remember, if some middle class English ladies, outraged by the feather trade for fashion, had not got together and started to protest, the RSPB would not have been born and our society would be so much the poorer. Now its time for all Europeans to come to the aid or our birds. As their slogan says [Pro]act now!

4th July 2014