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31 August 2016
Tracking wild bird populations is an excellent way to monitor the state of our countryside and an understanding of whether these populations are stable, increasing or decreasing is fundamental to bird conservation efforts. A recent BirdLife Cyprus report covering ten years of the Cyprus Common Birds Monitoring Scheme (CBMS) includes indices on the population trends of common breeding birds that provide the best currently available indicators of the state of the environment in Cyprus. Over 40 BirdLife Cyprus volunteers were involved in gathering this data, following a standardised methodology to systematically survey over 150 randomly selected 1 x 1 km squares across Cyprus.
30 June 2016
The significant damage caused by the recent fires in Solea and Argaka, is undoubtedly one of the largest in recent decades and constitutes serious damage to the habitats and species. It is estimated that around 10-12 square kilometres of Natura 2000 area were burnt, with many woodland bird species affected, including Bonelli’s Eagle, the only Eagle species in Cyprus. 40 - 50 years ago, these fires would have been equally tragic, but the forest recovery prospects would have been promising as fires are a natural component of the Mediterranean ecosystem. Unfortunately, however, in 2016, due to anthropogenic climate change, which now is a reality, the prospects of forest and wooded land recovery are much more limited because of desertification. The fact that many fires are not a natural element, but incompatible human intervention, worsens the situation even further.
30 June 2016
As the four-month spring/summer survey season (March-June) comes to a close, BirdLife Cyprus volunteers have completed over 350 surveys across the length and breadth of Cyprus.
31 May 2016
You might remember that back in February, we announced that six vultures were found dead in the area of Paramali / Sterakovou in Limassol all within a 3km radius. One more, the seventh, had been found dead in November 2015 in the same general area. We had hypothesized that there could be three different causes for the deaths, primary poisoning, secondary poisoning (which happens when an animal eats another animal which has been poisoned), or from eating dead animals treated with NSAIDs, which are very toxic for vultures. Since the government agencies were not in a position to determine the cause of death, finally the samples taken from the dead vultures were sent to Israel, where the Nature and Parks Authority of Israel generously offered to carry out the tests.
31 May 2016
Following last month’s update, the works for the erection of fence and cattle sheds at Akrotiri Marsh started in early May. So far, contractors have been preparing the ground, drilling holes and installing the metal pipes for the fence. It is expected that the works will finish around end of June.
29 April 2016
Breeding numbers of the rare Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii show a downward trend, as demonstrated by an analysis of nine years of count data from the gull’s only Cyprus colony, at the Kleides islets off the tip of the Karpasia peninsula. Results of boat surveys carried out by BirdLife Cyprus in cooperation with the Turkish Cypriot Bird protection Society Kuşkor every May from 2007 to 2015 were published in the latest issue of Sandgrouse journal (38(I) 2016).
29 April 2016
Project partners of the Darwin project ‘Akrotiri Marsh Restoration: a flagship wetland in the Cyprus SBAs’, are organising an open discussion on the latest developments at Akrotiri Marsh. The discussion is mainly addressed to birdwatchers and wildlife photographers and will focus on birdwatching / nature watching infrastructure and access within the site. The aim of this open discussion is the dissemination of information on the facilities planned to be erected at Akrotiri Marsh as part of the Darwin project and also the exchange of ideas and suggestions on how to enhance visitors’ experience on site while meeting the project’s conservation objectives.
29 April 2016
New study confirms common birds are powerful indicators of threats from climate change. From Europe to the US the trends match, as scientists expected, the data showing coherent and substantial changes in detriment to cold-adapted species.
31 March 2016
One of the decisions of the Ministerial Council on the Akamas issue was the creation of a National Forest Park in the area, which will include the current national forest and all the appropriate public land of the Akamas Natura 2000 site. Four ENGOs, including BirdLife Cyprus, met with the Director of the Department of Forests, Mr Takis Tsintides on16 March 2016 to discuss this issue. During the meeting ENGOS presented their views on the initial boundaries of the Akamas National Forest Park as well as our request for the inclusion of all the public land of Akamas into the National Forest Park, and not just the ‘appropriate public land’. Furthermore, we had a general discussion on the management of Natura 2000 sites. Following the meeting, BirdLife Cyprus also sent a detailed letter with our position.
31 March 2016
BirdLife Cyprus volunteers are out and about with their binoculars and clip-boards, recording birds across the island as our breeding season programmes of systematic monitoring get into full swing. In all, some 30 volunteer bird recorders – including some office staff and Shannon O’Grady, a full-time survey volunteer over from the UK - are undertaking surveys for common breeding birds, nocturnal birds and wetland birds. As the season progresses, Roller surveys, Atlas surveys, Calandra Lark and Audouin’s Gull surveys will be added to the effort.

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