NICOSIA -- The number of flamingos recorded in Cyprus’ wetlands in December 2013 was the second largest since 2007, the Games Services said on Wednesday.
It said that according to an annual bird count, 15,134 had been spotted in Cyprus last month, the majority of them in Akoritiri Salt Lake.
The Games Services carries out monthly recordings at the main wetlands of the island within the framework of the monitoring the population of winter water birds in Cypriot wetlands.
Specifically, it records species and numbers of birds at Akrotiri Salt Lake (including the Livadiou and Zakakiou lake, etc), the Larnaca Salt Lakes, the Asprokremmos, Polemidia, Yermasoyia, Allasas, Evretou, Kannaviou, Kalavassos, Aradippou and Achna dams, the Oroklini lake as well as the lake of Paralimni.
Additionally, at the end of each year, an annual count is conducted in all wetlands around Cyprus.
In December 2013, the count showed a total number of more than 24,000 birds, the majority flamingos which amounted to 15,134, of which 13,600 where found at the Akrotiri Salt Lake. The total number of ducks has increased substantially compared with the corresponding period of 2012 and amounted to 5,716, the majority of which were Koutalopapia (2800), Sarseli (1500) and Alaourto (1,027).
In 2012, the corresponding results were slightly higher with a total number of 24,700 birds, with flamingos being much more than that in December 2013 and which surpass 20,000. A noticeable difference occurred in the number of ducks as well, where their numbers were very low and amounted to 1,880 (950 Chouliaropapia, 331 Sarseli, 373 Mallard and 155 Alaourto).
The corresponding count for 2011 recorded 21,160 birds with flamingos amounting to 12,093. The total number of ducks stood at 4,558, with the most abundant being the Sarseli with 1,389, the Mallard with 1,058 and 1,023 Alaourto.
The number of flamingos recorded in December 2013 is the second largest since 2007 after that recorded in December 2012.
The threats and problems faced in this area of wild life comes down to poaching mainly at the two salt lakes in Larnaca, the Achnas dam and Paralimni Lake, the lack of water due to drought prevailing in the country, at least for the period September to December 2013 as well as the disturbance of birds and garbage disposal at dams where fishing occurs.