About Migrations

This blog is the work of Dan Rhoads. As a longtime birdwatcher, Dan is an ardent supporter of the work of BirdLife Cyprus, and this blog now focuses mostly on topics relating to the nature of Cyprus.

Cyprus’ position in the Eastern Mediterranean places it on one of the major migration routes and makes it an important stop off point for many species which pass each year from Europe/Asia to Africa via the Nile Delta. With a few exceptions, these are birds that breed in Europe passing south through Cyprus in autumn to return to winter in Africa or the Middle East, returning northwards again in spring. A look at the status of the birds that have been recorded on the island shows that at least 200 of the 380 species are passage migrants.

More than 40% of migrant bird passing between Africa, the Middle East and Europe, have declined in the last three decades. Of these 10% are classified by BirdLife as Globally Threatened or Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. “Every year, migratory birds brave mountains, oceans, deserts and storms on their journeys to survive”, said Dr Marco Lambertini – CEO of BirdLife International.

“Their epic flights connect us all – crossing our borders, cultures and lives. However, we are destroying the habitat they need to rest and re-fuel, building hazardous structures such as powerlines which cross their path, and illegally shooting and trapping them”, added Dr Lambertini.

Migration flyways

Migration flyways, for land birds, illustrating bottlenecks as they cross the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe and back again.

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