Posted by: Dan | April 23, 2009

Martin Hellicar Answers

From 10,000 Birds, An Interview with Martin Hellicar of BirdLife Cyprus:

A few weeks ago we posted an article entitled “Cyprus: killing Europe’s Songbirds for a Snack”, which was triggered by a shocking report released by BirdLife Cyprus As we wrote at the time, BirdLife Cyprus had determined that between March 2008 and February 2009 a staggering 1.1 MILLION birds were netted or were caught on limesticks in Cyprus (hunters outnumber birdwatchers 500 to ONE on Cyprus)!

Such a serious toll on Europe’s birds must surely be having a detrimental effect on the population levels of some species, and we wondered why – as a member of the European Union and therefore subject to the ‘Conservation of Wild Birds’ 1979 Directive – such an illegal slaughter was being allowed by the Cypriot authorities.

We emailed BirdLife Cyprus (the Cypriot BirdLife Partner) asking them whether we could help in some way, and suggested that an interview with someone within the organisation might be a good way to publicise the situation. We’re delighted to say that Martin Hellicar, the executive-manager of BirdLife Cyprus, agreed to talk to us, and the interview that follows is fascinating, disturbing, and thought-provoking…

Go check out the information-packed Q&A with Martin, at 10,000 Birds, and learn about bird trapping, ambelopoulia, and conservation efforts in Cyprus.



  1. Hi Dan – thanks for promoting Martin’s interview like this, it’s much appreciated. By the way, I’m hoping to come over to Cyprus in September to blog ‘live from the field’ – hopefully we can meet up then? Cheers, Charlie

  2. Charlie,
    No – thank you for promoting BirdLife Cyprus like that! ;-)

    That’s be great, and I’d be more than happy to guide you to some of the better birdwatching spots. The first two weeks of September are particularly good for the Fall season hawk migration – the number and diversity of raptors that pass through is amazing.

    Just let me know when your plans become more definite and we’ll coordinate.


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