Flight for freedom: how volunteers in Cyprus are saving migratory birds from poaching

A blackcap flies to freedom in Cyprus after being paralyzed in a trap used by poachers during the birds' migratory season. The rescue is the work of an organization that fights against fowling and continues to recover and rehabilitate birds in Cyprus and other countries

In Cyprus, efforts are underway to combat poaching and safeguard migratory birds that stop on the island during their journey to Africa. A remarkable incident involved the rescue of a female Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) that was ensnared, illustrating the impact of these efforts.

A sticky situation

The bird found itself immobilized on a twig coated with a sticky substance. This is due to “limesticks,” traps commonly used by poachers to capture wild birds. These sticks are covered with a type of glue that ensnares the birds’ legs, wings, and sometimes even their heads, preventing them from flying away. Birds land on these structures mistaking them for perches to rest during migration.

Poachers take advantage of this by placing the limesticks next to acoustic lures to attract tired birds, leading to their capture or death. Fortunately, for this female Blackcap, the outcome was different.

A life saved

The Blackcap was rescued by the team from the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS). A volunteer gently freed the Blackcap, demonstrating how limesticks paralyze these species. The rescue process starts with the legs, the first part of the body to be trapped, followed by the wings, and a thorough check of the plumage to ensure no glue remains. Watching the bird fly away is immensely joyful, yet it is terrible to see so many traps and consider the suffering of the birds.

Attempts to escape only worsen their situation, leading to death from starvation after hours or being killed in a cruel manner by poachers. In Cyprus, the procedure involves a bite to sever the bird’s neck before cooking and eating it.

Limesticks are widely used in Cyprus, capturing on average over 60 different bird species, more than half of which are threatened in Europe.

A call to action

Countering bird poaching and raising awareness about these horrifying practices mean significantly reducing captures and protecting bird populations during migration. Heartfelt thanks go to the entire CABS team for their relentless work.

Source: zkeeping91/Instagram – CABS

Condividi su Whatsapp Condividi su Linkedin