Brussels – Patricia Zurita, the Head of Birdlife International a conservation group, said on Friday that around 25 million birds were being illegally killed in the Mediterranean region each year.
Zurita said the figure, according to a report by Italy alone, stand at an estimated 5.6 million birds annually.
She said that the report found that many birds were shot, captured in nets or trapped after being lured with recordings of birdsong.
The other methods included the use of lime sticks that glued birds to branches and caused considerable suffering before resulting in the bird’s death.
According to her, the Eurasian Chaffinch is the most common target of illegal bird killings in the Mediterranean region, followed by the Eurasian Blackcap, the Common Quail and the Song Thrush.
Zurita said that the birds were most often killed for food or for sports, noting that “this review shows the gruesome extent to which birds are being killed illegally in the Mediterranean’’.
She said that some bird populations were now in decline or even disappearing.
The organisation called for greater protection for bird species, and said the European Union’s rules on bird protection should be better implemented. (dpa/NAN)