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Conservation grant for Cyprus seabirds

  • June 30, 2016
  • Robin Snape

Audouins gulls on the islands

Nesting Audouin’s Gulls

Signeage erected by KUŞKOR arond Karpaz landing sites, notifying sea users of the ban on landing

The Anglo-Turkish Association of Northern Cyprus (ATA) in June 2016 committed to supporting a project to be implemented by KUŞKOR to study and protect seabirds of Cyprus.

The work will be implemented at the Kleides Islands of the cape of the Karpaz Peninsula where Audouin’s Gull, Yellow-Legged Gull and Mediterranean Shags breed. KUŞKOR in partnership with the Greek Cypriot bird conservation NGO Birdlife Cyprus, have undertaken monitoring at the site over the last decade and have found that Audouin’s Gull, a threatened Mediterranean endemic seabird, are in decline. The colony has dwindled to just a handful of nests in recent years and action must be taken now to prevent the loss of this colony, which represents the World’s most easterly extent of the species breeding range. 

Annual monitoring has been restricted to a single boat-based field survey during May, when the maximum number of birds are thought to be incubating eggs on nests. The aims of the program are to: 

• increase survey effort across the breeding season in order to ascertain more accurate nest counts and estimate breeding success
• survey and monitor introduced rats on the islands, which may be contributing reduced breeding success rates
• monitor other anthropogenic threats at the islands, such as fishermen landing, which as a conservation measure, has been banned since 2015
• organise awareness rising seminars targeting the police and the local community in order to sustain conservation of the species

Permitted KUŞKOR personnel will land on the islands during pre-breeding in order to survey for rats.

For more information about relevant monitoring and conservation project please visit this link

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