Campaigns are underway to mark World Migratory Bird Day, which is observed every year on May 10 under the theme Their Future is Our Future, highlighting the interdependence of people and migratory animals.
This year two major threats are targeted, habitat loss and over-hunting.
“Illegal activities not only affect bird populations but harm society in general, human existence and natural resources. The areas of conservation, agriculture and tourism are also negatively affected,” the game fund announced on Tuesday.
“Legitimate hunting is also affected by these activities and despite the important role hunters have in the viability of habitats, they see their reputation as being at risk from poaching.”
At the same time, these illegal activities are often socially accepted and that’s why they continue, the fund added. Law enforcement, both local and national, is the key to protecting migratory birds, but this needs to be in place along their migratory route.
To help preserve birds’ habitat and reduce the negative effects of trapping in important Natura 2000 areas, the forestry department, Frederick University and the Cyprus Philosophical Association participate in the EU’s LIFE programme ‘For birds: improvement of lowland forest habitat for birds in Cyprus’.
As part of the programme, mainly in the eastern part of Cyprus, management measures will be implemented to significantly improve the availability of food and water, restricting access to sensitive areas and improve nesting conditions.
Cyprus forest managers and other stakeholders will be informed about the benefits of adopting a holistic forest management approach which addresses the needs of birds.
The project also includes actions to raise public awareness.
In the context of the international day the game fund and the Environmental Education Centre of Akrotiri will ring and release a number of migratory birds, mainly raptors and water birds in the wetland of Livadi in Cape Verde of Limassol on Wednesday at 10am.
The birds were injured, sick or underweight due to migration and have been fully rehomed at the Wildlife Care and Rehabilitation Centre of Athalassa.