What we have
achieved so far in

Another challenging year has come to a full circle. 

As the planet continued spinning under the enduring shadow of the pandemic, the climate crisis showed its teeth once again with extreme weather events and deadly fires, our small island included. Added to this, the latest BirdLife assessment of the state of Europe’s birds showed that one in five species on the continent are in danger of extinction. 

Yet, despite all the challenges, we look back and reflect on the amazing things we have achieved this past year. Here is what we are most proud of in 2021, thanks to our members and supporters, our collaborators, our volunteers, the wider BirdLife family and our team who tirelessly work to turn our vision into reality.

We brought 15 Griffon Vultures from Spain

To save our most iconic bird of prey from going extinct, together with our ‘LIFE with Vultures’ project partners we brought 15 Griffon Vultures from Spain to boost the local population. The vultures arrived at Larnaka Airport (all in good health) last November and were transferred to a special acclimatization aviary of the Game and Fauna Service where they will stay for 5-6 months. Prior to their release, the birds will be fitted with GPS transmitters so we can monitor their movements and intervene in case a bird is in danger. This is one of the many actions undertaken as part of the ‘LIFE with Vultures’ project aiming to save the Griffon Vulture from going extinct, by tackling key threats for the species, such as poisoning, and strengthening the population. Learn more.

We campaigned for the annulment of the relaxation of the bird protection law

Following a disastrous law amendment in 2020 that resulted in a serious relaxation of the bird protection law, we immediately reacted and launched a petition to call for its annulment. This petition was signed by almost 14,000 citizens who supported our call for the reversal of this terrible law amendment so that the fine is restored from 200 to 2000 euros for the illegal killing of birds regardless of bird species or killing method. In November, we handed the petition and all the signatures to the President of the House of Representatives, Ms Annita Demetriou, calling on her to take action so that the fines are increased. Learn more.

We started a new restoration project for Akrotiri and Cape Pyla

July marked the start of a new 3-year project to restore important wildlife habitats at Akrotiri Peninsula and Cape Pyla. This new project has the potential to make a real difference in the conservation, sustainability and wise use of the Akrotiri area and Cape Pyla and at the same time support the local community. Through this project, we aim to turn key sites at Akrotiri and Cape Pyla from areas where wildlife is hanging on to areas where wildlife can really thrive. We also aim to increase opportunities for the Akrotiri community to benefit from living in a protected natural area, specifically through supporting the long-term economic viability of cattle grazing as a sustainable conservation tool and through the promotion of the area as a wildlife-friendly tourism destination. The project is funded by Darwin Plus UK and our project partners are Terra Cypria, the Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas Administration Environment Department (SBAA ED) and the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK). Learn more.

We fought to save Akrotiri
and the Akamas Peninsula

Concerning site protection, we always keep a close eye on the most species-rich and the most threatened Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) to be ready for timely interventions against looming threats. The Akrotiri and Akamas Peninsulas are for this reason a top priority, being unique areas under overwhelming pressure for development. In 2021, we kept a very close eye on looming threats and raised our voice for Akamas and Akrotiri, highlighting their significance for biodiversity. We shared our vision and our concerns about upcoming plans for both sites, through all possible channels such as relevant government committees and the media. For Akamas, we also gave people the chance to join us in sending an open letter to relevant Ministers, calling on them to answer key questions and review upcoming plans. For Akrotiri, we lobbied for a truly sustainable Non Military Development Plan and kept the pressure high on Lady’s Mile and the need for a regulatory plan that strikes a balance between use of the area and needs of the wildlife. More information on Akamas can be found here and on Akrotiri here.  

We connected with
2000 children

Inspiring the younger generations sits at the heart of what we do, and so, following all covid-related safety measures, in 2021 we managed to connect with 2000 children through school visits and summer school activities, introducing them to the wondrous world of birds and the need to protect nature. From making bird feeders out of recycled materials and dissecting owl pellets to birdwatching at wetlands and monitoring Barn Swallow nests, our goal remains the same: to plant the seeds for respect and admiration for nature, in the hope that these positive attitudes will lead to the shaping of active citizens that care and take action for nature.

We managed to raise over €13,000 for nature

In October, we invited people to ‘get out and move’ for nature by taking on our 100K for Nature challenge. The people who took on the challenge aimed to walk, run or cycle 100 kilometers for nature while being sponsored by friends and family. The aim: to raise money and support our work to protect birds and nature. Over the span of two months, participants managed to raise over €13,000 thanks to 350+ individual donors who supported them on their journey. The money raised will be used towards targeted conservation actions in the areas of bird monitoring, education and awareness raising, combatting illegal bird killing, and site protection. We have been deeply moved by the public’s response, the inspiring feats of the people participating and by every single donation. A warm thank you to everyone who participated and donated.  

We look forward to many more successes in 2022 and we commit ourselves to another hard-working year for birds and nature in Cyprus and beyond. We hope you will join us on this journey. Here are some of the ways you can support our work. ​


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