Birds are seen trapped in mist nets near the village of Ayios Theodoros in Larnaca, Cyprus, September 27, 2012. BirdLife Cyprus/Handout via REUTERS
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Poachers in Cyprus killed an estimated 2.3 million birds in autumn 2016, including 800,000 on a British military base, conservation groups said Thursday.Poaching is banned on the Mediterranean island but songbirds including robins and blackcaps are regularly trapped and served as an illegal delicacy called "ambelopoulia". BirdLife Cyprus and Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said poaching rates were around their highest ever, with criminal gangs earning millions from the activity.Britain retained sovereignty over two military base areas when Cyprus won independence in 1960 and has a police force in Dhekelia that tackles poachers.
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