All-island wetland monitoring

€5000 awarded

Project duration: 03/2022 – 03/2023

Status: ON-GOING

The challenge

The status of our wetlands is changing rapidly because of shifts in land use, exploitation of water resources, the impacts of climate change, inappropriate waste management, industry, hunting and other natural and human parameters. Through basic monitoring, some sites that were previously overlooked, such as Kouklia and Kapouti Reservoirs, are now well-known sites of ornithological importance. However, others have become degraded, losing their conservation and aesthetic value. By monitoring our wetlands systematically, we can understand developing threats and respond to them rapidly through our advocacy and policy work before more damage is done. Meanwhile a more regular census of each wetland will provide an accurate picture of seasonal use of wetlands by all waterbird species, providing greater certainty and allowing more appropriate allocation of state and non-state biodiversity conservation resources and action. Lack of numbers of capable field recorders is a key gap in the current effort.

 

The solution

KUŞKOR and BirdLife Cyprus have the common aim to monitor Cyprus’ wetlands, to provide accurate information to decision makers, lobby, advocate and to prioritize joint conservation resources. The project will build for the future by providing important optical equipment and supporting recruitment and training of local and capable volunteer surveyors, which are currently the main limitation to this work. KUŞKOR and BirdLife Cyprus staff will plan together, share expertise and other resources to build momentum towards establishment of a long-term systematic joint Wetland Monitoring Scheme.

 

Project’s deliverables

  • A bicommunal workshop (Spring 2022) for the gathering and training of potential surveyors from across the island on all the key wetland sites, priority waterbird species and the standardised survey method to be used.
  • 2 field work training events (Spring 2022, Autumn 2022).
  • Monitoring of all key wetlands once monthly.
  • Monitoring of all 36 wetlands twice annually.
  • A report on the wetlands’ monitoring (March 2023).

 

Project updates

  • Bicommunal workshop for the gathering and training of potential surveyors from across the island – Home for Cooperation September 2022

 

A bit about the organizations

KUŞKOR, The Society for Protection of Birds and Nature, the leading organization of this project, is among the longest-established conservation organisations in Cyprus. It aims to promote the study of birds and to use this information to prioritise and protect resident and migrant birds and their habitats. For thirty years the organisation has encouraged citizen science among visitors and locals, training them to identify and record birds, providing optical equipment for them to do so and centralising bird records through an online forum and database, making these data available to decision makers. In 2010 KUŞKOR & BirdLife Cyprus jointly won a large two-year grant from EU (Support Package for the TC Community), and together implemented the successful “All-Island Important Bird Areas” project. This resulted in the recognition of four new Important Bird Areas in the north, catalysing further bicommunal collaboration. KUŞKOR and BirdLife Cyprus have continued to collaborate to deliver island-wide contribution to international monitoring efforts including the European Breeding Bird Atlas 2 and the International Waterbird Survey.

BirdLife Cyprus – supporting partner on this action – is a non-governmental, non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of birds of Cyprus and their habitats, and also the Cyprus partner of BirdLife International. BirdLife Cyprus follows the strategy of BirdLife International and works on species, sites, habitats and people engagement issues.