Celebrating World Wetlands Day at Paralimni and Oroklini Lake

Little Egret by Albert Stoecker_450_850_crp

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Every year on 2 February, we celebrate World Wetlands Day (WWD), a day to raise global awareness about the important role of wetlands for people and the planet. To mark this, BirdLife Cyprus is organizing two simultaneous events, one at Paralimni Lake and one at Oroklini Lake, on Saturday, 8 February from 09:30 am – 12:30 pm for people to learn more about wetlands and their importance and to discover the wondrous world of birds through birdwatching and educational activities.

BirdLife Cyprus staff will be at Oroklini Lake’s main bird hide (exact location here) and at the north-east side of Paralimni Lake, along Petrou Iliadi street (exact location here) on Saturday, 8 February from 09:30 am – 12:30 pm. Βinoculars and telescopes will be at hand for the better enjoyment of the lakes’ feathered inhabitants as well as information material and educational activities for children.

Oroklini Lake and Paralimni Lake are natural wetlands of the protected Natura 2000 network and have been identified as Important Bird Areas in accordance with internationally recognized scientific criteria. There is however a stark difference between them. Oroklini Lake is an outstanding example of habitat protection, restoration and management, while Paralimni Lake is an example of a site in desperate need of exactly that. With the right vision and management in place, Paralimni Lake could be one of the natural jewels of the area – there for the wildlife to thrive in and for people to enjoy.

This year’s World Wetlands Day theme is “Wetlands and Biodiversity”, highlighting the importance of wetlands as a habitat for biodiversity. Despite their importance, wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests, with pollution from waste, draining or infilling for agriculture and construction, overfishing and over extraction being the main drivers. With the world’s biodiversity in steep decline and with 40% of the world’s plant and animal species living or breeding in wetlands, conserving and protecting wetlands is key to our efforts to halt biodiversity loss.

Both events are open to the public and are free of charge. For more information please contact BirdLife Cyprus on 22455072.

With the financial contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union for the LIFE Against Bird Crime project, LIFE17 GIE/NL/000599.

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