Seabirds are mesmerizing creatures, but we don’t know a lot about them here in Cyprus. Species and their abundance, distribution and population trends have yet to be recorded and understood. Though a lot may think that this is not the case due to the frequency of seagulls in the coastal areas of Larnaka or Latchi, especially near fish taverns, our most recent survey suggests otherwise.
Autumn migration is upon us and it’s exciting! Well, it is indeed exciting if you’re into birds and you’re in Cyprus, but not as much if you’re a small songbird passing through the south-eastern corner of the island to head towards your wintering grounds.
‘Trapping under derogation’ using the argument of tradition is often heard in public discussions on the hot issue of illegal bird trapping (ambelopoulia) in Cyprus. The European Court of Justice has effectively closed the door on this widely used pro-trapping argument with its conviction of Malta for allowing the trapping of seven finch species under derogation. While the Directive allows derogations only under specific and strict conditions, tradition, however, is not one of them.
At the northeast tip of the Karpasia Peninsula, a remote chain of rocky islets is home to the world’s easternmost breeding colony of one of Europe’s most elegant and distinctive gull species, the Audouin’s Gull.
The 2018 State of the World’s Birds report, which provides a comprehensive look at the health of bird populations globally, has found that the extinction crisis has spread so far that even some well-known species are now in danger.
“At long last – but will it last?” If contained enthusiasm was ever put into words, this is what it would probably sound like here at BirdLife Cyprus. We say ‘enthusiasm’ because after years and years of hard work campaigning, lobbying, surveying, educating, we saw bird trapping levels drop to an almost all-time low this past autumn. But we also say ‘contained’ because the beast is nowhere near knocked-out yet.
Spring is in full swing! Birds are boasting their strength and vitality to potential mates through songs and brightly-coloured plumages, while flowers and trees are blooming and their sweet scent travels in the air… And there is a prominent bright yellow colour surrounding us this time of year, that of daisies, mustard flowers and …acacias!
It’s always disheartening to see birds fall victims to wildlife crime, especially when these are birds of prey, born to reign the skies.
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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.