RSPB

Illegal hunting of migratory birds – Cyprus

Restore UK offered annual support for the RSPB’s campaign against the illegal trapping and hunting of birds in Europe from 2003-2008. This involved support for political advocacy work at a national and European level through the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. In particular, it helped the RSPB to support its partner organisations in Cyprus to take action in partnership with the local authorities to monitor and crack down on the activities of illegal trappers.

This work resulted in over 500 prosecutions, a ten-fold increase in fines and a six-fold increase in the length of prison sentences. The campaign involved education projects and high-profile media activity in Cyprus, the UK and more widely, encouraging supporters to voice their protests to the relevant authorities. The success of this was shown in a 2005 opinion poll indicating that 88% of Cypriots believed the trapping of birds for commercial purposes was unacceptable. As a result of this campaign, illegal, inhumane trapping activity was reduced during 2003-2006 by 80%+ with more than 20 million birds saved from the trappers.

Stonechat stuck on lime stick, Cyprus
Photo: © Guy Shorrock (RSPB images)

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