Three dead Black Kite birds of prey found dead near Maroni village, Larnaca, were likely poisoned, the Games Service said on Friday.
According to an official announcement pieces of meat where found near the birds’ dead bodies and tests are underway and are expected to confirm the Services’ theory since the Black Kites did not have any external injuries and one still had a piece of meat in its beak.
Of the Milvus migrans species, Black Kits are relatively common migratory birds of prey for Cyprus but observed in relatively small numbers during migration, mainly in the autumn, and sometimes joining buzzards in larger flocks.
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They feed on fish, insects, dead animals and rubbish and are therefore vulnerable to poisoning although, according to the Service, they are often not the poisoners’ targets. They usually pick up poisoned meat cruelly aimed at foxes and stray dogs.
Poisoning is also one of the main causes of a decline in the population of the Griffon Vulture in Cyprus with seven killed between 2015 and 2016 alone.
“Poisoning is an illegal and immoral act that has multiple negative effects on the environment and, by extension, on human health. Keeping the relevant Services informed when identifying such phenomena is the least each and every one of us can do,” the Service said.