Projects - Mia Milia Management
MIA MILIA MANAGEMENT
Mia Milia Restoration Project is a bi-communal conservation project between BirdLife Cyprus and KUŞKOR, the Turkish Cypriot Society for the Protection of Birds and Nature.
With funding received from Mark Constantine in mid 2019, and covering an 8-month period, we set out to carry out conservation actions at the Mia Milia Wetlands.
Why is the area important?
Hosting thousands of waterbirds annually, Mia Milia Sewage Treatment Plant is a manmade haven for waterbirds and is one of the 34 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Cyprus. It is a key breeding, wintering and passage site for the Near Threatened Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca. It regularly attracts significant wintering numbers of the globally Threatened White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala and Common Pochard Aythya farina, and the globally Near Threatened Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus. Mia Milia is also a key breeding site for the rare in Europe (SPEC3) Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus and Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus.
Issue affecting the area
Predators such as foxes and feral cats can access the wetland and often feed on the chicks or young of these bird species or disturb the adult birds who then abandon their nests. This is not an uncommon problem in Cyprus, with similar issues happening in other wetlands of international importance like Paralimni Lake and Larnaka Salt Lakes.
In order to restore the wetland and minimize the threat to the birds, we consulted with experts on wetland management for breeding birds at the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK). Following their advice and also based on local knowledge, we decided on placement of anti-predator fencing, with the aim of creating predator-free nesting areas for the Ferruginous Duck, Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing.
Local support is of ultimate importance when it comes to the success of such projects. Therefore, KUŞKOR organized various meetings with the local municipality and got the necessary approvals for the fencing, as well as signage in the area and within the site, to guide and inform future visitors.