Summer is ending, and that means the birds are migrating again. In Cyprus it also means that the hunters and trappers are active again. It starts with the trappers, who’ve been at it for weeks now. BirdLife Cyprus started their Fall monitoring program weeks ago.
The trapping is particularly bad in the Cape Pyla area. If you’re a tourist there, no problem, you can get some sand and sun only a walking distance from fields used for trapping. If you’re a birder though, you had better have a police escort as some of my birder friends had to last week, while they went as part of an Important Bird Area data gathering group. It really is just too damn dangerous to go there without protection if you’re holding a pair of binoculars, looking like a non-local, and driving up back roads obviously looking for birds.
There are also hunters in Cyprus, which are an entirely different situation. It is indeed legal to hunt certain birds such as Woodpigeon, Chukar, and Turtledoves. In specified areas. And BirdLife has no objection to this, however we may feel about it as individual who happen to be quite fond of living birds. Still, it is worth noting that some illegal hunting occurs, and this needs to be policed. And for the legal hunting, here’s the news from opening day.
But back to the trapping – the more grievous insult to migrant birds. If you’re unfamiliar with that story, here’s a video that’ll clue you in from BirdLife Cyprus: