Patrolling of the Project Antipoison Dog Unit in Dionysades Islands, Crete

Patrolling of the Project Antipoison Dog Unit in Dionysades Islands, Crete

A complaint was made to the First Hunting Federation of Crete and Dodecanese, concerning possible poison bait placement in Dionysades Islands, an islet complex northwest of Sitia, Crete. These islets are a study area for the LIFE Bonelli eastMed Project, and on Sunday, June 14th 2020, the Antipoison Dog Unit began its search in Gianysada and Dragonada islets. Giorgos Chorafas and “Paca” were accompanied by a team of local gamekeepers.

These islets are one of the most important breeding areas in the world for Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae), and they host protected raptor species as the Bonelli’s Eagle.

During the search, no poison baits were located, but the unit found dozens of hunting cartridges and approximately 40 wire traps, of unknown owner(s).

Lathrothiria Dionusades low

Also, as the unit approached Gianysada, two persons were spotted, accompanied by ten hounds, returning to the islet’s lodge. They possessed six rabbits, killed by their dogs. And, in a boat sailing nearby, two persons and four hounds were on board. A rabbit, also killed by their dogs, was found.

The four poachers were accompanied to the port of Sitia and to the Forest Authority for a preliminary inquiry. Then, they were taken to the prosecutor’s office and detained in order to stand trial. The second case was tried on Monday, June 15th, and a sentence of 15 months with a 3-year suspension was imposed to each offender. The hounds were impounded.

The first case was tried on Thursday, June 18th and resulted in a sentence of 27 months with a 3-year suspension imposed to each offender and 700 euros fine (to each offender). The hounds were impounded.

 Patrolling Dionusades Pacca 2 low

Photos: Giorgos Chorafas

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With the contribution of:

The LIFE Bonelli eastMed project “Conservation & Management of the Bonelli's eagle population in east Mediterranean” will address the most critical threats to Bonelli’s eagle populations in Greece and Cyprus. The overall objective is to ensure the long-term favourable conservation status for the species’ interconnected local populations, through the establishment and operation of the East Mediterranean Bonelli’s Eagle Network.

The project is implemented by the Natural Museum of Crete - University of Crete, the Game and Fauna Service (Game Fund) - Cyprus, the Hellenic Ornithological Society/BirdLife Greece, the Ministry of Environment & Energy - Greece, the Department of Forests - Cyprus and the NCC Environmental Studies Ltd with the financial contribution of the LIFE instrument of the EE.

For conservation issues:
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University of Crete - Natural History Museum of Crete, Knossos Avenue Premises, 71409 Heraklion, Crete


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