Stop Ambelopoulia

Poaching in Cyprus FAQ

Illegal poaching is a serious problem in Cyprus, fed primarily by an archaic demand for the illegal local delicacy, ambelopoulia. Illegal trapping (using limesticks and mist nets) for ambelopoulia is pervasive here, as is a general disregard for any living wildlife. This FAQ was set up to communicate information to the illegal poaching trade.

What is Ambelopoulia?

Why is Ambelopoulia a problem for Europe?

What are limesticks and mist nets?

How does BirdLife conduct monitoring surveys?

How are the survey results converted into birdkill estimates?

What were BirdLife’s monitoring results from 2010?

What were BirdLife’s monitoring results from last year 2009?

What were CABS’s monitoring results from 2009?

Is there any monitoring in the Turkish-occupied areas?

What bird species are caught and killed by poachers?

What is the relevant legal directive on poaching?

What should you do if you discover a poaching incident?

What do the trappers say?

What is the legal hunting season?

What can you do to help change public opinion in Cyprus?

If you have additional questions, you can email me at cellsnbirds at, although I urge you to contact the BirdLife Cyprus staff, who will be able to answer questions more effectively than I. (Most of the FAQ answers are derived from published BirdLife Cyprus materials.)

And finally, you may ask “Why Birds Matter” in the first place. BirdLife Cyprus has an appropriate and concise response:

Birds and all wildlife enrich our lives. They are part of our everyday environment adding colour and sound wherever we are.

Birds are good indicators of the state and quality of the natural environment. Changes in bird populations reflect changes in our environment. Loss of birds is a threat to other species, nature and ultimately to humankind. A healthy and diverse ecosystem means a healthy world for us now and for generations to come. Cyprus is a very important place for birds at a national, European and worldwide level. For example, it has more endemic species and subspecies of birds than any other European country.

Over 370 species of bird have been recorded in Cyprus. Its geographical location means that about 200 of these occur regularly as passage migrants flying between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. We have a responsibility to look after this international heritage while it is visiting our country.

%d bloggers like this: