Massacre on Cyprus. Researchers call for a crack down on poachers who lure millions of birds to their deaths on the Mediterranean island with recordings of their own songs.
By Larry Powell The Sardinian warbler (Curruca melanocephala) , common to the Mediterranean region. Photo by Andreas Trepte. Billions of birds like the Sardinian warbler (above) and the Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) have been migrating through the region for a long time. And, each year for many years, poachers on Cyprus have been trapping and killing them illegally. The slaughter is now said to have reached "industrial levels." Conservationists found 155 different bird species in trappers' nets in 2018. These included 82 listed as "conservation priority species;" Among them, the Cyprus warbler, a protected species which is a "short-distance" migrator but breeds only on the island. A study just published by The Royal Society takes aim at the devious methods the poachers use. They lure their unsuspecting prey to their deaths by playing recordings of the birds' own songs. But it has not been widely known just how well that practise works - u