Ten years of keeping track of our birds

Did you know that BirdLife Cyprus has been monitoring the common breeding birds of Cyprus for more than a decade? Birds are sentinels for change in the environment, like the canary in the coal mine, so keeping track of how they are doing is the foundation for monitoring the health of our countryside and for conserving our nature. None of this would have been possible without our team of committed citizen scientists.

Our expert volunteers have given up thousands of hours of their free time over the years monitoring birds across Cyprus. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, we can know whether bird populations are stable or declining and today we have at our disposal an invaluable evidence base that we at BirdLife Cyprus use to advocate and fight for the conservation of species and habitats in Cyprus. We present the fruits of this extraordinary effort in the latest issue of Bird Census News, the journal of the European Bird Census Council.

The BirdLife Cyprus Common Bird Monitoring Scheme delivers vital information on the state of wild birds in Cyprus, and especially focuses on common species and species that live in farmland. Farmland birds that used to thrive in our countryside, like the European Roller, Common Linnet and Black-headed Bunting, have declined dramatically across Europe, including Cyprus, because of the dual and opposite pressures of intensification of agricultural practices and abandonment of traditional farmland. It is not only Cyprus’s obligation as an EU Member State to monitor and report on the status of farmland bird species, it more importantly allows for the proper planning of farmland management and conservation actions for safeguarding our biodiversity and for continuing to enjoy a healthy nature and beautiful birds.

A very special ‘thank you’ is in order to the BirdLife Cyprus team of volunteer bird recorders, without whose dedication and hard work, none of this would have been possible.


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