PROTECTING BIRDS IN CYPRUS

 

BirdLife Cyprus is a registered non-governmental organization that dedicates itself to the conservation of wild birds and their habitats in Cyprus. It was formed in 2003 through the merger of the two Cyprus Ornithological Societies.

It is the Cyprus representative of BirdLife International – a globally active conservation organization that operates in over 100 countries and territories worldwide and is the recognized global authority on birds.

BirdLife Cyprus aims to promote the study and protection of the birds of Cyprus and their habitats, and to enable the citizens of Cyprus and other countries to play their part in achieving this goal. The organization runs a number of campaigns and monitoring projects to ensure it can fight against activities that threaten wild birds, such as illegal hunting and trapping, and the destruction and degradation of habitats, with a particular focus on Important Bird Areas (IBAs).

What BirdLife Cyprus does

BirdLife Cyprus campaigns at both local and European levels on behalf of birds and their habitats here in Cyprus.

Effective conservation action is impossible without reliable bird population data. As well as producing monthly and annual reports for bird sightings, we have set up and run systematic and scientific monitoring schemes such as monthly counts of wetland birds, a common bird census and surveys of migrating raptors.

The predominantly low-intensity agriculture in Cyprus makes it an attractive place for birds. Agricultural intensification in Europe has had a well-documented and disastrous effect on farmland birds. BirdLife Cyprus promotes a set of practical programs to ensure local farming practices are kept wildlife-friendly.

BirdLife Cyprus also works to raise awareness about the birds of Cyprus and issues that affect them and their habitats. This is done through a combination of articles in the local media and events/talks to introduce people to Cyprus’ birds.

BirdLife Cyprus is working to bring an end to illegal bird trapping.
Birds trapped on limesticks and in nets die a horrible death and are then sold for profit to be eaten as an expensive ‘delicacy’.

Many birds of threatened species fall foul to the indiscriminate nets and glue sticks. A recent opinion poll showed that the majority of Cypriots are against this illegal activity.

Bird trapping was declared illegal 30 years ago, but it still continues to be a black mark against Cyprus.

So far, BirdLife has recorded 58 priority species for Europe such as owls, masked shrikes and birds of prey caught in nets and limesticks. Endemic species like the Cyprus Wheatear have also been found trapped. Bird trapping is a money making activity that fetches thousands of euros in profits to those involved, whether they are trappers or restaurateurs who serve the birds at their establishments illegally.

Increased enforcement in recent years has curbed trapping levels substantially – about 80% – but has also given rise to more ‘specialized’ trappers who are more organized and well equipped. The most important motive is financial with the price of a dozen song birds being around 60 – 80 euros.

The final count of birds already illegally killed by trappers in Cyprus this autumn stands at 1,447,308.

This number represents the BirdLife Cyprus estimate for how many birds have been illegally killed using mist nets and limesticks between September 1st and  October 31st. 2011.

This death toll, which will be updated weekly during the autumn trapping season, is based on systematic monitoring of trapping activity in the field. Although only an estimate, it shows the extent of the problem out there in the killing fields of the Famagusta and Larnaca Districts of Cyprus.

Please visit their informative web site and sign the petition against the illegal trapping of birds at:

http://www.birdlifecyprus.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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