The wetlands of North Cyprus are in urgent need of protection against construction, Kibris Postasi reports.
The Northern Cyprus Birds and Nature Conservation Association (KUŞKOR) on the occasion of World Wetlands Day pointed out that the mid-winter water bird counts were low.
In a statement made by KUŞKOR it was noted that the mid-winter water bird counts conducted simultaneously across the entire island by KUŞKOR and Bird Life Cyprus had been completed.
The counts are part of the International Waterbird Census and are simultaneously conducted in many parts of the world.
The results of the counts indicate the urgent need to protect wetlands and highlight the threat of construction to these areas.
According to the statement, in 2024, the Famagusta Wetlands ranked first with 2,442 birds comprised of 33 species, Haspolat Lagoons in the Haspolat Wastewater Treatment Area ranked second with 1,262 birds from 28 species, and Larnaca Salt Lake ranked third with 1,821 birds from 23 species.
The statement said “Unfortunately, bird numbers are quite low this year. Last year, there were over 5,000 birds in Haspolat Lagoons. In Famagusta Wetlands, 65 species were recorded. While birds signal us to take care of them, they also inform us about the water situation on our island. The last 3-4 years, where similarly low numbers were observed, all experienced serious drought“.
The statement noted that some countries are increasingly prioritising wetlands to counter desertification. It urged all authorities to protect our wetlands, take care of Famagusta Wetlands and Haspolat Lagoons, stop the increasing human pressure in these areas, and take urgent measures regarding waste disposal.