Moderator: roger dickey
Not sure what pressure our societies could apply, if any ?
Your thoughts ?
I have had conversations with the RSPB in particular and also offered non attributable help to the Committee Against bird Slaughter (CABS) (run from Bonn by an ex Irish Ranger) and will be exploring some new ideas with the former in the Spring. I shall also attend the Overseas Territories NGO forum in a couple of weeks time to again look for some new ideas that concentrate on protection while accounting for the difficulties of setting up any form of viable protection force and its cost. Clearly this is not an MOD matter nor ours as Service Societies but we can offer our help.
I share everyone's revulsion of this barbaric practice, and exasperation that 'monitoring' of traps, decoys and the growth of trapping habitat seems to have replaced 'direct action'. Where we can help the conservation and protection of wildlife we most certainly should - I'd go so far as to say that we have a moral responsibility to do so - or hang up our Colours.
A last word of caution though. Go back to our respective charters and check our terms and conditions. We are not lobby groups nor have a remit to do so however testing the circumstances. But there are many excellent organisations that are (such as CABS or Lega Abolizione Caccia (LAC)) and to those I commend membership.
When I say working I use that term loosely and I spent a fair bit of time birding. Regrettably I wasn't aware of the existence of the AOS at the time so most of the birding I did was self help and very local to Akrotiri.
On my last day I was walking along Ladys Mile Road (?) heading towards Bishops Pool (?) when I went off road and stumbled upon a netted area in a large orange grove. This was in an area that actually backed almost onto the outer fence of RAF Akrotiri.
I realise what it was at the time, and read some articles when I got back. Thinking back now it was fairly obvious, I even found a boogie box which had a casette loaded, but was dead. I am guessing that the cassette contained bird song to tempt the poor creatures in.
The nets contained mostly Red Back Shrikes, Wood Warblers and Ortolan Bunting. I did what I could to release some birds but didn't do anything else as I flew out the next day.
If I had stayed any longer I would have called in at the Environmental Office in Akrotiri and mentioned it to them, but as I said, I flew out the next day.
Is there anything else that I could have done?
Nearly doubling the team of officers to 11 is a step in the right direction, but still too few. It's good to see that people are prepared to volunteer their help, including (I believe) members of the AOS(?)
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