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Annual seabird count off Karpasia peninsula (photos)

May 20, 2019 at 4:58pm

BirdLife Cyprus and Kuskor, the Society for the Protection of Birds and Nature, visited Kleides islets off Karpasia peninsula for their annual joint seabird count.

“The most important breeding site for seabirds in Cyprus,” as BirdLife describes it, is located on the northeast tip of Karpasia.

“To the untrained eye, the rocky islets at the northeast tip of Karpasia Peninsula may seem like bare and lifeless rocks, but upon closer inspection, these remote islets are buzzing with life,” BirdLife said.

During their two-hour survey, BirdLife and Kuskor saw “Audouin’s Gull parents diligently tending their nests, fluffed-up Yellow-legged Gull chicks patiently waiting for the next meal, juvenile Shags soaking up the sun with their white bellies full, a Peregrine Falcon contemplating its next attack, a Grey Heron catching its breath before setting off again and screaming parties of swifts flying overhead”.

According to BirdLife the population of seabirds in Kleides has been dropping in recent years, however, they are hopeful that the increased efforts to protect them will bear fruit.

Kleides qualify as a Mediterranean Biome Site, an Endemic Bird Area site and as significant for four species of global conservation concern.