Birdwatchers and hunters team up for biodiversity at Zakaki

1st reed clearing at Zakaki Marsh_450_850_crp
BirdLife Cyprus, in conjunction with the SBA Environmental Department recently organised two events to clear some of the reeds at Zakaki Marsh, at Akrotiri, Limassol. Zakaki Marsh is part of the Akrotiri wetland complex, the largest natural wetland complex of the island. It is one of the few breeding sites island wide for the Ferruginous duck – a species of global conservation concern. 

Willing volunteers included members and staff of BirdLife Cyprus, staff from the SBA Environmental Department, members of the Akrotiri Hunting Association and volunteers from the Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre who gathered at the site first thing in the morning to give a helping hand. The volunteers also managed to clear the rubbish and remove around 50 acacia bushes around the bird hide area. Acacia is an invasive alien plant species in Cyprus, which means that it displaces native species, thus destroying the natural habitat of the area in which it grows.
 Efforts to clear some of the reeds at Zakaki Marsh have also been made in the past, however, controlling reed expansion is an ongoing process and needs to be done on a regular basis. Controlling reed overgrowth is an important management tool for the site, not only because it obscures the view of the pool from the birdwatching hide to visitors and birdwatchers but also because their overexpansion reduces habitat diversity and therefore species diversity. By controlling the expansion of reeds and by clearing areas, open water areas are created that serve as suitable habitats for many species of plants as well as birds.
 BirdLife Cyprus would like to thank all the volunteers who contributed with their time and effort to this important action.

2nd Reed Cleaning at Zakaki Marsh

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