Dear all,

BirdLife Cyprus would like to thank all those that have signed and supported our electronic petition against illegal bird trapping in Cyprus. We value your support which empowers our fight against this ecological disaster.

On the 1st February 2012 we presented the petition signatures to the Minister of Interior, Mr Neoklis Sylikiotis. We believe that our united voice will be even more strongly heard now and will exert greater pressure towards the competent authorities to take real action on this issue.

BirdLife Cyprus will continue its campaigning against illegal bird trapping in Cyprus until this practice finally stops and we thank you for contributing to our goal. Please read below the press release for the submittion of the petition signatures to the minister, which you can also find on our website ( le&id=579%3Acyprus-interior-minister-presented-with-16677-signatures-f rom-150-countries-calling-for-more-action-against-illegal-bird-trappin g-01-02-2012&catid=101%3Apress-releases&Itemid=111&lang=en).

Cyprus Interior Minister presented with 16,677 signatures from 150 countries calling for more action against illegal bird trapping

Nicosia, 1st February 2012

BirdLife Cyprus1 representatives today presented Minister of Interior, Neoklis Sylikiotis, with a 257-page document containing over 16,500 signatures from 150 countries, calling for more action against illegal bird trapping. The electronic petition, entitled ‘Call for action against illegal bird trapping in Cyprus’2, was set up by BirdLife Cyprus in September 2011 to coincide with the main autumn trapping season. The petition is addressed to the relevant Ministers (Minister of Interior, Mr. Neoklis Sylikiotis and Minister of Justice and Public Order, Mr. Loucas Louca) and calls for the adoption of a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to trapping, as promised at the Bern Convention conference (July 2011)3.

The electronic petition was a great success in raising public awareness about this illegal activity, which has been on the rise in the last few years, as shown by BirdLife Cyprus monitoring programme. Hundreds of thousands of birds are killed in mist nets and on limesticks each year to end up as expensive ambelopoulia delicacies; the indiscriminate nature of the trapping means many rare and threatened species are caught. While there was a drop in mist net use in the Republic in autumn 2011, limestick use significantly increased and action against restaurants serving ambelopoulia was limited.

The petition was widely advertised through the media and BirdLife International partners in countries across the world. Most signatures came from the United Kingdom, with over 5,000 , followed by France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland, with over 1,000 signatures from each country. The electronic petition expanded far beyond European borders, getting signatures from countries such as the USA (700) and Australia (130). As for Cyprus, more than 600 people signed the petition.

“The number of signatures gathered by our petition shows how concerned the general public is about bird trapping in Cyprus”, commented Clairie Papazoglou, Executive Director of BirdLife Cyprus. “We hope that the call for zero tolerance from all these people from across the world will be heard and the competent authorities will take real action against the killing”, continued Papazoglou.

For more information, please contact: Martin Hellicar, tel: +357 22 455072,

This petition is now closed.

View entire petition text including preamble