Turtledoves have for yet another year been included in the list of prey which can be hunted during the upcoming season in the north despite being an endangered species.
Despite being categorised as Critically Endangered on the red list of the (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), a step before being declared as “Extinct in the wild” hunters in the north can take aim at the birds from 27 August with each hunter allowed a quota of 160 birds!
Turtledoves migrate to Cyprus every spring and summer.
Their journey to the island is filled with obstacles and dangers.
The once peaceful and quiet lakes where the birds used to be able to find food and water are filled with dangers. Turtledoves have difficulty in finding water as many lakes have either dried up or are polluted.
Fields, where the birds once were able to find food have been inhabited by humans.
Despite all the obstacles the turtledoves make it to the island only to be faced with the hunters’ riffles.
Unfortunately, despite the rising number of voices speaking out against the hunting of turtledoves in the north, authorities have gone ahead and included them in the list of pray that can be hunted this season.
Furthermore, a European directive on the “Protection of wild birds” prohibits the hunting of a bird species with low numbers in a country.
It also prohibits hunting birds during their mating and reproduction period, which for the turtledoves is August-September.
Unfortunately the problem is not limited to the north of Cyprus.
European Parliament has issued a directive.
However, turtledoves and other wild birds are being hunted on both sides of the divide in Cyprus and another eight EU countries.