Another important step in the conservation of vultures in Cyprus will be taken today with the arrival of 10 more of the birds from Crete.
The Griffon Vultures are arriving through Greece and Cyprus’ joint Gypas project aiming to strengthen the vulture population of Cyprus. The 10 new birds will raise the number of Griffon Vultures brought to the country through the project to 25.
The local population has dwindled over the last few decades with only a handful remaining before the start of the project.
As well as growing and protecting the local the vulture population, the Gypas project also aims at informing the general public about vultures to encourage wider involvement in their protection.
According to an official announcement on the vulture’s arrival: “The protection of this bird is very important for the environment of Cyprus because the vulture cleans the countryside of dead animals, helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem and ridding farmers of the expense of having to burn their livestock.”
Other indirect benefits include the vultures attracting ecotourism and birdwatchers and having an educational value.
The birds’ transportation is facilitated by Cyprus Airways and the vultures are kept in purpose-made cages in the Limassol and Paphos districts until they are acclimatised to Cyprus and the authorities are confident the vultures will not fly back to Crete when released.
“Vulture restaurants” will also be created in fenced off areas around the cages providing the vultures with a protected source of quality food once they are released.