The Darwin project for the restoration of Akrotiri Marsh has managed to break the wall of reeds at Akrotiri Marsh to create suitable habitat for wildlife. The on site management works for the creation of suitable habitat for target bird species has been perhaps one of the most important activities of the project and these have been successfully completed in early November. The works included ditch dredging, installation of water control structures and creation of open water areas. Seven pools have been created, mainly to attract breeding Ferruginous ducks, as Akrotiri Marsh is one of the few breeding sites for this important species in Cyprus. One scrape has also been created to attract mainly breeding Black-winged Stilts and Spur-winged Lapwings, both Annex I species. The habitat creation is also expected to benefit the nesting of Little Bittern, also an Annex I species and an occasional breeder to Cyprus while Akrotiri Marsh is one of the few recorded breeding sites for this heron species.
The RSPB / BirdLife in the UK with many years of experience in habitat creation and nature reserves management has been closely supervising works in collaboration with BirdLife Cyprus during the four weeks of management works on site.
The location of most of the new habitat features has been matched with the location of the two birdwatching hides that will soon be created on site as part of the Darwin project. The project has also created two walkways that will channel visitors to the hides. A parking area near the east hide was also surfaced to enable visitors to park and then walk to the hide.
To find out more about the project and its progress, please visit the project website www.akrotirimarsh.org.
The Darwin project “Akrotiri Marsh Restoration: a flagship wetland in the Cyprus SBAs” is funded by the Darwin Initiative through UK Government funding to restore Akrotiri Marsh and its biodiversity. BirdLife Cyprus is the lead partner in collaboration with two more partners, the Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre and RSPB (BirdLife in the UK). This ecosystem-based conservation project has a duration of 2 years, between April 2015 and March 2017.
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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.