Cyprus’ teaching modules: Work in Progress (WiP)
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean covering an area of 9250 km2 and lies on one of the major bird migration routes across the Mediterranean. With Africa to the south, Turkey and central Europe to the north and Syria and the Middle East to the east, Cyprus is a major staging post used twice a year as birds move between Africa, Europe and Eurasia, with over 200 species occurring as regular passage migrants in varying numbers. The birds that occur regularly on passage form a large percentage of the Cyprus ‘list’ that totals around 400 species. Of these, only around 60 species are resident and around 30 are migrant breeders who regularly or occasionally breed.
It is time to crack down on Mediterranean's biggest songbird massacre
Cyprus’ learning modules will focus on migrating birds that pass from Cyprus on their way to hotter climates and the illegal trapping of birds on Cyprus is taking place on an industrial scale. The biggest hotspot is on a British army base in Cyprus where over 800,000 birds were killed last year. Trappers also change the environment by planting invasive species (Acacia bushes) in which the birds are trapped in order to later on sell them as delicacies or through away the rest. Trapping with mist nets and lime sticks is illegal both at national and European level due to the non-selective nature of these methods i.e. it is not possible to select which bird species gets caught. According to field surveys nearly half of the bird species recorded in Cyprus, i.e. 155 different bird species, have been found trapped on lime sticks or in nets.
The Cyprus’ learning module focusses on bird migration and what dangers birds encounter on their travel to and from their wintering area to their breeding areas. Pupils learn about the consequences of these dangers for the bird populations.
Greater Flamingos: Some of the flamingoes first head to the Akrotiri Lake (also known as the Limassol Salt Lake) in November–December and wait until the water level of Larnaca Lake increases sufficiently.