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Illegal Bird Killing in the OSME region - Horror and hope, a review of the OSME Summer Meeting (Part 1)

OSME held its annual Summer Meeting on 4 July at the BTO Headquarters in Thetford. The theme of the day was illegal bird killing in the OSME region. Five excellent speakers gave a range of talks covering monitoring, data collection, education and awareness-raising around this intractable issue. Nick Moran did a great job chairing the day at short notice due to the unexpected absence of OSME Chairman, Rob Sheldon.

The first speaker of the day was the BTO Director, Andy Clements, who gave an insightful overview of the value of monitoring and how the resulting 

Acacia clearance on Cape Pyla combats illegal bird trapping

 Taking the rug from under their feet: before and after Acacia clearance on Cape Pyla.

Like a number of areas in Cyprus, particularly in the south and southeast, Dhekelia or the Eastern Sovereign Base Area (ESBA) has a very serious problem with illegal bird trapping. In their autumn 2014 report on trapping activity, BirdLife Cyprus estimated that the approximate number of individual birds killed in the ESBA last autumn was in the high hundreds of thousands.

Massive declines of the Yellow-breasted Bunting compared to the Passenger Pigeon

It is not often you hear buntings compared to pigeons, but last week an excellent, yet worrying, scientific paper was published that shows massive declines in the once common and relatively widespread Yellow-breasted Bunting. The scale and speed of the decline has drawn comparisons to the infamous story of the Passenger Pigeon, so wonderfully told in a 'Message from Martha' by Dr Mark Avery .

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