Τhe Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre, announces that in the framework of measures taken by the Authorities on COVID-19, will remain temporarily closed from Friday 13 March until Friday 20 March 2020.
Stranded young vulture rescued at Episkopi Bay
An unlucky young Griffon Vulture stranded on a rocky beach at Episkopi Bay saw its luck turn around thanks to a BirdLife Cyprus volunteer that happened to be in the area. The bird was found wet, in distress and unable to fly.
Immediately, BirdLife Cyprus informed the Game and Fauna Service as well as the SBA Environmental Department, who were able to reach the stranded bird from the sea with the help of a private boat owner, and rescue it.
The bird now looks healthy and is being housed at the Game and Fauna Service Rehabilitation Centre. The Game and Fauna Service will continue to monitor and support the bird until it is ready for release. Before its release, the aim is also to fit the bird with a GPS transmitter, in order to monitor its movements, which will provide important information for the protection of the already diminished Griffon Vulture population in Cyprus.The rescued bird is a juvenile, and it is believed it was born this year, and, possibly due to inexperience, fell into the sea but managed to reach land, where it was found. This is a common occurrence in the Episkopi Cliffs area, as well as in other countries where vulture colonies are on coastal cliffs, and especially at this time of year, when young vultures begin to fledge.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Griffon Vulture population in Cyprus numbered over 400 birds. Today, the Griffon Vulture is on the brink of extinction from Cyprus with only 20 birds remaining. The main reason behind the decrease has been the reduction in food availability due to the reduction in extensive livestock farming (free grazing) – as Griffon Vultures feed exclusively on dead animals. For this reason, another critical threat to the species is poisoning from the illegal use of poisoned baits aimed at the extermination of foxes and stray dogs.
The rescue of even one bird as in this case is of crucial importance. Any loss is a serious blow to the survival of the species in Cyprus and there is no longer room for error.
To benefit the species, BirdLife Cyprus, in cooperation with Game and Fauna Service, the Cypriot NGO Terra Cypria and the international NGO Vulture Conservation Foundation, will soon implement a conservation program, funded by EU’s LIFE program, for the protection of the Griffon Vulture in Cyprus, aiming to address its main threats and to restore the population.
Once again, the importance of cooperation among stakeholders becomes evident when it comes to protecting and conserving the most endangered raptor species in Cyprus. Good coordination, awareness-raising, good knowledge and swift mobilization ensured the successful rescue of the young Griffon Vulture. We warmly thank everyone who contributed to the rescue, and in particular the BirdLife Cyprus volunteer, the boat owner as well as the Vulture Conservation Foundation for providing the GPS transmitter.
The number of visitors at Akrotiri Peninsula has been increasing during the last few days, mainly due to the presence of the flamingos on the salt lake. Unfortunately some visitors, probably due to ignorance, are trying to approach the flamingos on foot or by car. This causes many problems to the visitors themselves, as it is very easy to get stack in the mad, but also to the sensitive environment of the area. Besides flamingos the area hosts other species of protected birds, some of which are now preparing for breeding. Human presence has a negative impact on these species and damages other elements of the local ecosystem.
Visitors are, therefore, advised not to approach the lake, but enjoy it through the free access to fieldscopes and other infrastructure of the Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre.
It is noted that disturbance to the birds is both inappropriate and illegal under the environment legislation. For more information contact the Akrotiri Environmental Education Center on the phone number 25826562
The last few days the first flamingos arrived at the Akrotiri salt lake.
24 August 2017
A paper was published in a scientific journal on Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae) population nesting at Akrotiri area. These medium-sized falcons migrate every year from their nesting grounds in the Mediterranean and Canary islands all the way to Madagascar for wintering. The paper analyzes data from many breeding colonies including Akrotiri, and assess the habitat suitability and the impact of climate change and habitat degradation on the species.
23 August 2017
The first Demoiselle cranes (Grus virgo) arrived at Akrotiri Salt Lake.
27 July 2017
20 July 2017
13 July 2017
29 June 2017
22 June 2017
15 June 2017
8 June 2017
28 March 2017
A poster was presented at a scientific conference of British Ornithologists Union in UK (University of Warwick) for the migration of Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae).