Cyprus


648 km
95834 km2
1

Summary/History
The island of Cyprus lies in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its surrounding waters are oligotrophic, supporting few fish and consequently only very few seabirds. Three species breed on the island: the Mediterranean subspecies of the European Shag (nationally and internationally protected), the Yellow-legged Gull (LC) and the Audouin's Gull (NT). Their 3 nesting areas at Akrotiri Peninsula, Cape Aspro and the Karpasia Peninsula have been designated as IBAs. BirdLife Cyprus have conducted annual breeding surveys at the IBAs since 2004 and have found that the Shag population at Akrotiri Peninsula and Cape Aspro have shown a dramatic decline since surveys began. This is thought to be a result of overfishing and potentially culling of birds which are attracted to the offshore fish-pens of a nearby fish farm.

Key threats to seabirds in Cyprus include:
o Overfishing of prey base
o Pollution, particularly chemicals and oils from shipping
o Introduced species
o Development

National priorities
o Create a network of marine IBAs in the area, particularly around the breeding colonies in order to include feeding grounds for the Meditteranean subspecies of the European Shag and the Audouin's Gull
o Protect the island's declining Mediterranean subspecies of the European Shag and Audouin's Gull populations
o Undertake annual population surveys of these species so as to be able to continuously update their population numbers and trends, status and reproductive success
o Conduct seabird survey (maybe with the government) of the EZZ

Government's support/relevant policy
The Cyprus government had declared two small marine extensions to terrestrial SPAs (although largely to match the boundaries of SCIs already designated for Poseidonia beds and not because of the value to Annex 1 birds), but have no plans to declare any more Marine SPAs or survey the EZZ. This is thought to have occurred partly because the designation of terrestrial SPAs has proved a hard process and is not yet complete and partly due to the economic pressures favouring EZZ exploitation over the designation of protected areas. Please see policy tab for list of agreements that this country is party to.




Albatrosses
0
Penguins
0
Petrels and shearwaters
2
Cormorants
2

Storm-petrels
0
Auks
0
Gulls and terns
13
Ducks, geese and swans
1


IUCN Red List Status

0
0
1 (147th)
5% (157th)
0
0
1
0
21
0

The numbers in brackets refer to the country's rank when compared to other countries and territories globally.

References
o Iezekiel S., Makris C. and Antoniou A. 2004. Important Bird Areas of European Union Importance in Cyprus. BirdLife Cyprus, Nicosia.
o Miltiadou, M. 2007. Breeding Census of Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii colony at Kleides Islands. Cyprus BirdLife Magazine. Summer 2007. Nicosia.
o Miltiadou, M. 2008. Breeding Survey of Coastal Birds at Kleides Islands in Spring 2008. Cyprus BirdLife Magazine. Summer 2008. Nicosia.
o Miltiadou, M. 2009. Three Large White-headed Gulls of Cyprus (L. michahellis, L. armenicus and L. cachinnans). Populations and Identification. Winter 2009. Nicosia.
o Miltiadou, M. 2009. Populations of Breeding Coastal Birds of Cyprus, including 2009 Survey of Kleides islands. Cyprus BirdLife Magazine. Autumn 2009. Nicosia.

Cyprus at a glance

Capital

Nicosia

Area

9,251 km2

BirdLife Partner

BirdLife Cyprus

Species

Total number of birds 276
Globally threatened birds 7
Country endemics 2

Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas

Number of IBAs 34
Total IBA area 310,022 ha

Endemic Bird Areas

Number of EBAs 1



Recommended Citation
BirdLife International (2020) Country profile: Cyprus. Available from http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/country/cyprus. Checked: 2020-11-25