Spring Alive, an annual activity programme that deals in bird-watching and observing migratory patterns of birds around the world, has launched its 2015 project.
Migratory birds are about to arrive in Europe and Asia from Africa where they had spent winter, BirdLife Cyprus announced on Monday.
“This year Spring Alive is asking you to make your garden or balcony bird-friendly to help tired birds in their amazing migratory travel. We need to you to take action and make nests and feeders and take care of the birds when they start arriving,” the announcement said.
Spring Alive is an initiative with educational character for the promotion of the protection and preservation of nature. It is organised by BirdLife Poland (OTOP), and encourages children to participate in actions for the protection of migratory birds and learn about them.
“Like every year, with recordings of the first observations of swallows, white storks, cuckoos, swifts, and bee-eaters, in the website www.springalive.net, children from Europe, Central Asia and Africa create a real-time map with the remarkable journeys that these birds make every year” the announcement said.
Migratory birds, BirdLife said, face threats like climate change, intensive agriculture, urbanisation and hunting.
“With the appreciation and support of the children in each area, we hope that these birds will be able to find enough feed and shelter to keep coming back each year,” the announcement said.
BirdLife is urging everyone interested, to share their photos of migratory birds with the rest of participants from Europe, Asia and Africa through the Spring Alive website or Facebook page.
Last year, 731 schools and more than 70,000 children across Europe participated in the project and more than 170,000 migratory bird observations were recorded.
Children are being urged to go out and photograph migratory birds and the birds in their gardens as part of a photo competition that will be announced on Flickr shortly. A second competition urges them to picture their ideal bird garden and paint it and win a set of Opticron binoculars.
For information on both competitions visit: www.springalive.net/world/contest
Meanwhile, the game and fauna service announced that wetlands in Cyprus were under threat daily from the dumping of urban waste, illegal construction, urban sprawl, intensification of agriculture, poaching and illegal logging.
“Cyprus being in a geographic area which seems to be affected more and more from climate change, should adequately protect its few and very important wetlands,” the announcement said.
The island’s most important wetlands, the Larnaca salt lakes, the Oroklini and Paralimni lakes, the Achna, Kourris, Asprokremmos and Evretou dams, mainly because of their large biodiversity, have been included in the European network of protected areas Natura 2000. ea