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Friday, April 11, 2014

10 Years BirdLife Cyprus ... Protecting Nature, Inspiring People

Cyprus is an important place for birds at a national, European and global level, mainly due to its geographical location. Situated on one of the key migratory corridors of Europe, it is estimated that during migration, around 150 million birds pass through Cyprus as they migrate between Europe, Africa and Eurasia. 

Having been identified as an Endemic Bird Area of World Importance by BirdLife International, BirdLife Cyprus is predominantly focusing on two campaigns at the moment.

BirdLife’s development officer states that “One of our main campaigns is against illegal bird trapping. For this we have a monitoring programme, where a person who goes out into the fields and basically counts how many nets and limesticks he can find. We use that data to lobby for enforcement and to raise awareness.”

“Our other campaign is for the protection of important bird areas in Cyprus, the Natura 2000 network. What we do is we recognise which areas in Cyprus are important for birds and lobby to get them protected. And we have managed to get most of them designated and protected by the Cyprus government.”

But aside this, BirdLife Cyprus also has other interests such as lobbying for a more sustainable common agriculture policy of the EU, organising educational programmes and raising awareness in schools, monitoring appropriate assessment procedures when developments are proposed in the Natura 2000 area and climate change adaptation to name a few.  They also campaign for the "Life Oroklini project" -- a restoration and protection of the Oroklini Lake.

One can assist Birdlife’s activities by reporting incidents of illegal bird trapping and should feel free to approach the association with injured birds or queries. 

BirdLife Cyprus also brings vultures to the island from Crete to strengthen the population.

BirdLife’s development officer states “there’s about ten vultures left in the wild in Cyprus.  Most birds in Cyprus are threatened to some degree mainly by habitat destruction, illegal hunting and trapping.  The raven is on the brink of extinction, maybe one or two are left. People don’t really see them anymore. We used to have the Imperial eagle in Cyprus which is now extinct.  Most of the birds in Cyprus are migratory, around 300 of them, and 40 species stay in Cyprus to breed. We have around 50 resident birds, two endemic species that only breed in Cyprus, the Cyprus wheatear and the Cyprus warbler, both small birds and four endemic sub species that are all forest birds, found in Troodos."

More informations about BirdLife Cyprus can be found on:

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