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!
As new information arises, new threats to birds are identified and conservation actions are evaluated, BirdLife International scientists assess the conservation status of the world’s birds every year for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. According to the latest update of the Red List for birds, overfishing and climate change are pushing seabirds closer to extinction, while a formerly super-abundant songbird could soon go extinct if illegal trapping is not halted.
A paper with title “Illegal killing and taking of birds in Europe outside the Mediterranean: assessing the scope and scale of a complex issue” has just been published in the Bird Conservation International journal.
Following the death of wild birds at Bishop’s Pool in Akrotiri back in September, BirdLife Cyprus recently met with the competent authorities of the British Bases and the Republic of Cyprus to examine the issue and find solutions.
SHOT AND LEFT FOR DEAD: On a windswept hill in Southern Europe, the remains of a Honey Buzzard flutter in the breeze, its piercing yellow eyes dulling as it takes its final gasp. Sadly this bird is just one of millions that are illegally killed every year as they migrate between Europe, the Caucasus, the Middle East and Africa. The slaughter is indiscriminate - with shooting, trapping and poisoning rife.
Modern technology has become a vital part of enforcement and competent authorities in different countries have started to use it to fight wildlife crime. Such technology could include the use of drones, forensic testing and covert surveillance, just to name a few. The benefits of using such technology are many, including the gathering of evidence against wildlife criminals to use in courts, footage for media use, but also more efficient use of enforcement personnel time.
The positive news we had last spring on the record of new Griffon Vulture nests unfortunately did not last. On 21 October a young Griffon Vulture was found dead at Ai Yiannis area at Vretsia. This vulture was probably the one that was recorded as a nestling on the cliffs of the area during the usual island-wide vulture census last May.
Did you know that seabirds are one of the most threatened groups of birds in the world? Human activities are causing habitat destruction and pollution in the seas and oceans, putting marine biodiversity under enormous pressure.
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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.