slaughter of the song birds

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zosterops's picture
slaughter of the song birds

'Conservation organizations say that the trapping is increasing and that it is threatening rare bird species that stop in Cyprus during their migration. Last March, a report by BirdLife Cyprus suggested that some 2 million birds had been killed in the previous autumn, including 78 threatened species'.

Woko's picture

Since there's no sign at all of a waning of human depredation I'd say we can kiss those song birds goodbye.


If you're going to try and justify the action by saying; "bird trapping for ambelopoulia is a tradition and a right", surely you also have to take responsibility for ensuring that right and tradition can be continued and enjoyed by future generations by ensuring sustainable practices. Given they seem to not care about the latter part, I can hardly see how anyone can take such a justification seriously. 

I think the saddest part is the law enforcement seems to be doing their job in bringing trappers before court, but the judicial system is refusing to view it as a serious offence and opting to repeatedly give offenders minimal punishment. Not to mention bureaucracy seems to be preventing any timely agreements or plans to be set in place, although even if such agreements and plans were introduced, who knows how well they would be enforced.

Perhaps they made a mistake in outlawing it back in 1974, at least a regulated industry could provide more accurate data on the impact it's having and appropriate protection schemes could be developed and justified. Instead now sceptics get a tenuous footing to argue insufficient evidence as a reason to prolong the process and prevent change, and organisations and politicians are going to fall in line and support that view simply because it benefits their own agenda. In modern times it seems like it's quite a successful strategy to argue insufficient evidence and a lack of certainty as a justification to not take action...

Sad to say Woko but I think I have to agree. Like they say, education and social change is the only real way to fully halt such activities, but such things can take generations to realise, and there's simply not that much time for these birds. Especially given the ineptitude of the government and courts at slowing down the process in the short-term.

Also zosterops you seem to be quite in tune with a lot of ongoing affairs regarding birdlife from a wide array of sources, how do you keep tabs on them all?

Woko's picture

Wise words indeed, Amateur.

The rationales that the songbird destroyers use to justify their vandalism are breathtaking in their audacity.

Clearly, the judiciary is colluding with the bird trappers so it is just as culpable as the trappers themselves. It would come as no surprise if their decisions are revealed to be part of widespread corruption in the life of these precious songbirds. The whole issue would make a wonderful movie plot.

Just as the precautionary principle has been discarded in relation to climate change so the precautionary principle has been discarded in relation to these songbirds (but not in relation to the alleged cultural practice) on the grounds that there is insufficient evidence to justify culling the cullers. The "insufficient evidence" argument is often used by so-called conservatives when dealing with the environment. However, in a sane world one would think that caution would be exercised when managing songbirds but, curiously, although the cautionary principle is supposed to be the motif of conservatives, it seems many conservatives these days are outright radical ratbags when it comes to the environment & wildlife protection. Just another deep-seated & blindly accepted contradiction that needs to be exposed.

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