Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

BirdLife publishes guide to species needing protections

Photo: Michael Gore

BirdLife International has just released the publication European birds of conservation concern: populations, trends and national responsibilities it said on Wednesday.

bird guideThe publication summarises the conservation status of 541 wild bird species in 50 European countries and territories, and aims to help national governments to easily identify the species that are in urgent need of attention and protection.

For Cyprus, the new report shows that 40 per cent of breeding species have an unfavourable conservation status.

The most recent update of the European Red List of Birds indicates that 70 European bird species are classified as of global conservation concern, compared to 40 species in 2004.

Species of global conservation concern that either breed or winter in Cyprus include the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, the Common Pochard Aythya ferina and the Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca, the latter of which breeds at the newly restored Akrotiri Marsh.

Cyprus is also important for European Roller Coracias garrulus, Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus, Chukar Alectoris chukar and Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus, the latter representing more than one third of the European population.

Newly added to the list is also the endemic Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax, whose population has been decreasing by 5 – 25 per cent in the last years.

Martin Hellicar, Director at BirdLife Cyprus said: “From our endemic Cyprus Warbler, to the globally threatened Ferruginous Duck that breeds here, to the waders that winter in the island’s wetlands, our duty becomes apparent. The European birds of conservation concern publication brings to the spotlight species that Cyprus has responsibility to conserve, at national, European and global level. Publications such as this one should be the steering factor that guides our conservation efforts for the listed species and the sites that they very much depend on.”

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