How Could They?

October 13, 2007

This is just too depressing for words.

Here we are in one of the world’s most important crossroads for migrant birds. We are lucky enough to have the most amazing range of both local and ‘visitors’ passing through. Only a couple of weeks ago the bee-eaters arrived and were the talk of the island. Mandy was quick enough to get a photo of one while we were up in the hills.

And then this … hunters shoot over 50 falcons for target practice. Not just common-or-garden falcons, if that’s a fair term, but endangered red-foot falcons. Shot for fun.

Independent: Endangered falcons shot as ‘target practice’ in Cyprus

Earth Times: Rare falcons shot in Cyprus

In season hunting days are, officially, Sundays and Wednesday. Strange then how people report being woken by the hunters guns on all days of the week rather than just the official two days. Odd also how we come across dozens, no hundreds, of spent shotgun cartridges when we are out walking. More often than not this is within designated nature reserves.

The Sovereign Base Area police have offered a cash reward for information saying;

THE SOVEREIGN Base Area Authority announced yesterday that a £1,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) of the illegal shooting of 52 endangered Red-footed Falcons last week in the Fassouri Area.

“This is a tragedy of unprecedented scale in the SBA and is not only a crime against the birds but a crime against nature itself,” said Dennis Barnes, official spokesman for the bases.

“The SBAA is committed to preservation of the environment and nature and takes this crime extremely seriously. This type of crime committed against highly threatened species will not go unpunished and the SBA Police Force are conducting inquiries with the firm resolve of apprehending the perpetrators,” Barnes continued.

The SBA Police Force have made considerable progress in combating poaching, he added: “In the last 18 months, 17 people have been arrested and convicted for illegal poaching within the SBA by our Police Force. The SBA Police Force have put in 1,100 man hours work in order to stop illegal poaching. They have confiscated 500 mist nets, 82 loudspeakers and 42 cassette players, seven shotguns, 350 lime sticks and 3,500 metres of cable,” he said.

Anyone with any information concerning the falcon shootings should call Chief Inspector Andreas Pitsillides of the SBA Police Force at 25-967202. All calls will be treated with utmost confidentiality.

Hopefully someone will provide some useful information soon.

In the meantime, to close with something more cheerful, those photos of the bee-eater.




One comment

  1. […] has superb views over to the coast and across Larnaca bay. It is near to here that we saw the bee-eaters and saw eagles and long-legged buzzards […]

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