WITH the first migrating flamingos returning to Larnaca and Oroklini salt lakes the Larnaca tourist board is warning visitors not to disturb them.
An announcement by the board on Thursday said they are a wonderful sight. “It is understandable, therefore, that visitors wish to admire these unique birds, but the unreasonable behaviour that unfortunately occurs on a daily basis causes serious discomfort,” the statement said.
What disturbs the birds most is when visitors enter the lake to get closer to them, as the flamingos regard this area as their shelter. Though they are not that disturbed by planes and cars, when people take pictures with drones which come close to them this causes serious problems for them.
According to BirdLife Cyprus, flamingos are particularly vulnerable birds. Having to use their strength to flee from intruders instead of resting and feeding means this reduces their chances to breed and therefore to survive after the winter.
There is also a grave danger that they won’t come back to Cyprus at all.
The Larnaca tourist board in its announcement reminded the public that the salt lakes have been classified as vulnerable wetlands partly because of the number of flamingos they host in winter which are considered a protected species.
The board and BirdLife Cyprus therefore appeal to all visitors to behave responsively and observe the birds only from a safe distance.
For those who wish to do so BirdLife will be at Oroklini lake on November 26 with binoculars and telescopes for the public.
Those who are interested in more information on organised bird watching at the lake can contact 22-455072 or 99-305085.
The Larnaca tourism board calls on all those who witness actions that disturb birds to immediately contact the game fund who are on patrol day and night on 99-542774 or 99-634325.