BirdLife Cyprus is undertaking awareness raising actions against illegal bird killing and threats to migratory birds for special target groups as well as the general public. Below are some of our actions.
'153 birds' campaign
The aim of the ‘153 birds’ awareness raising campaign was to bring everyone closer to the magical world of birds. Through this campaign BirdLife Cyprus presented some of the 153 bird species affected by illegal trapping in Cyprus. Since the completion of this campaign, the number has unfortunately climbed to 155 different bird species. Each year hundreds of thousands of birds are killed in Cyprus as a result of this illegal activity, with the worst year recorded to date being 2014 when it is estimated that 2.5 million birds were killed.
The ‘153 birds’ campaign consisted of a drawing competition and related events to bring everyone closer to the world of birds. Through the drawing competition over 300 wonderful drawings of birds were collected, a response that has exceeded our expectations.
To celebrate birds and the wonder of migration, the campaign concluded in winter 2016 with a photography and drawing exhibition where a selection of the drawings submitted for the competition was presented, accompanied by photographs and information on each of the species depicted. Following the great success of the ‘153 birds’ campaign events in Nicosia the exhibition is hosted in spring 2017 at the Kato Pafos archaeological site, which is one of the 34 Important Bird Areas of Cyprus, in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities.
Funding for this project was from the Champions of the Flyway Bird Race, organized jointly by BirdLife International and SPNI (BirdLife in Israel). The ‘153 birds’ campaign was supported by Zedem Media. The Media Sponsor was CYBC. Special thanks to Get Out and Aperanti Agrotourism for the prizes for the drawing competition winners. For more information on the campaign, please click here.
School visits & Board Game
The ongoing support from NABU (BirdLife in Germany) makes it possible for BirdLife Cyprus to continue visiting primary schools and to reach out to children, to educate them on the birds of Cyprus, the wonder of migration, threats to migratory birds, such as the serious threat of illegal trapping of birds, as well as what we can each do to help birds and nature. Visiting schools and seeing engaged school directors and teachers who want to educate children about nature is particularly encouraging and gives a hopeful message for the future, as knowledge is a prerequisite for informed and responsible action.
Within the framework of the educational school visits a board game on bird migration has also been developed, with funding from NABU and the Heinz Sielmann Foundation, which helps children understand the challenges of migration through an experiential and fun approach, as their mission is to complete their migration journey as birds.
With the support of NABU (BirdLife in Germany) and the Heinz Sielmann Stiftung, we have produced a short animation film for children to communicate important messages about the illegal trapping of birds, as part of the educational presentations that BirdLife Cyprus does. The animation was created by Zedem Media.
Presentations to interest groups
BirdLife Cyprus has organised presentations for the Cyprus Tourist Guide Association as well as students at the Higher Hotel Institute Cyprus (HHIC). The aim is to educate current and future professionals in the tourism and hospitality industry on the rich avifauna of Cyprus, as well as the problem of illegal bird trapping and how this affects the image of the island abroad and consequently our tourism. At the same time, BirdLife Cyprus is working towards promoting sustainable birdwatching tourism.
BirdLife Cyprus produced leaflets explaining the serious and persistent problem of illegal bird killing in Cyprus (you can view the leaflet here).
To address children and a younger audience BirdLife Cyprus also produced a leaflet explaining the wonder of bird migration as well as what we can each do to help protect birds (you can view the leaflet here).
Both leaflets were produced with funding from the MAVA Foundation.
Following record levels of illegal trapping activity in 2014, with an estimated 2.5 million birds killed, BirdLife Cyprus produced an infographic about this illegal activity, with funding from the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK).
The infographic aims to present in a short and concise manner the problem of illegal trapping of birds in Cyprus by providing information ranging from the methods used and why they are illegal, to why birds are important and what the public can do to help our cause against the illegal trapping of birds. This infographic is an additional tool for BirdLife Cyprus to raise awareness about the serious and persistent problem of illegal trapping of birds in Cyprus, with which we hope to reach new audiences.
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BirdLife Cyprus is the national partner of BirdLife International, a unique global partnership of conservation organisations working locally to deliver long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people.