On Tuesday, 4 October 2016 BirdLife Cyprus was invited by the Game and Fauna Service to ring birds at the Service’s Rehabilitation Centre before releasing them back into the wild again. The Game and Fauna Service Rehabilitation centre, which has been operating since 1995, receives every year tens of injured, sick or orphaned wild birds and mammals which are brought to the centre for treatment and rehabilitation.
During the day, BirdLife Cyprus and Game Wardens ringed 47 birds of 11 different species. These were 25 Kestrels, one Scops Owl, seven Barn Owls, one Marsh Harrier, one Yellow-legged Gull, one Night Heron, one Shag, six Long-legged Buzzards, two Peregrine Falcons, one Honey Buzzard and one Common Buzzard. Five of the Common Kestrels and the two Peregrine Falcons were released in the area around the rehabilitation centre while the rest were released in appropriate habitats for them such as Akrotiri, Athalassa and agricultural areas around Nicosia.
One Barn Owl was a re-trap, meaning a bird that was ringed on some other occasion and was re-caught. Bird ringing has been a useful tool for the study of wild birds and dates back to 1899. Birds are individually marked and their movements are tracked over time, providing useful data on the dispersal, migration, longevity, behaviour, survival rate, reproductive success and population trends of many species. Ringing schemes allow us to know how many chicks from one population survive and which environmental conditions are favourable or detrimental to birds. Ringing therefore contributes in identifying necessary conservation measures by providing data not easily obtained in any other way.