From: Reuters
Published December 20, 2007 11:04 AM

Songbird killings in Cyprus rise: conservation group

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Up to half a million migrating songbirds, mainly warblers and robins, were killed in Cyprus this year to end up pickled or fried as an illegal restaurant delicacy, a conservation group said on Thursday.

Wildlife groups have long campaigned against trapping of the tiny birds on the east Mediterranean island. The practice is banned but conservation group BirdLife Cyprus estimates some 500,000 birds were trapped this year.

Warblers and robins are the main targets, and the birds end up as a dish called "ampelopoulia." They are served pickled or fried in restaurants usually for three Cyprus pounds ($7.3) each, the group said.

Trappers use fine mist nets in thickets of vegetation along the island's southeast coast to snare birds.

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(Writing by Michele Kambas, editing by Michael Kahn)

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