Following the recent actions of Archipelagos Institute to combat songbird poaching in Greece, we received multiple incident report from citizens about cases of illegal capture and caging of large numbers of songbirds in homes, warehouses, business premises etc. Specifically, there were two incidents that we were able to confirm, for which we submitted official reports to the Forestry Department of Samos. There was an immediate response and co-operation with the prosecutor of the island. As a result, the authorities arrested the people who were illegally keeping songbirds in captivity. In the two houses, 88 songbirds of 5 different species were found. They were all released back into their natural environment, while perpetrators were arrested and will be taken to court.

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Although illegal capture and containment of songbirds seems to be a generally accepted “habit”, we have been gradually receiving more and more complaints about illegal containment of songbirds that are being used as “decoration” or being sold to be served as expensive meals in gourmet restaurants. We are receiving incident report from many Aegean islands and other parts of Greece, following the publication of the recent actions of Archipelagos Institute in combating songbird poaching. This suggests that the local communities are becoming increasingly interested in combating such unacceptable environmental issues.

Unfortunately, in Greece there is ignorance around the fact that the capture and containment of songbirds is illegal. Meanwhile, it is recognized that songbirds are no longer being heard singing freely in their natural environment as they used to be in the past. Instead they are being imprisoned and this fact has been concerning many of our fellow citizens. In any case, understanding the delicate balance that exists in small communities is vital.  For this purpose Archipelagos Institutes ensures absolute confidentiality of the personal information of the people who inform us about illegal poaching and help us deal with this ongoing crime.

Archipelagos Institute, through close cooperation with the competent authorities and local communities, aims to put an end to environmental crimes that have been tolerated in Greece for years.