The Game Service in cooperation with the Environment Committee of UNFICYP have set up 15 artificial nests for barn owls (Tyto alba) in the Nicosia airport area as part of a pilot programme to create a network of nests along the buffer zone, particularly in agricultural areas where there are problems with rodents.
The location was chosen because it is a protected area close to Nicosia and has agricultural cultivation, livestock farms and a lot of rodents.
Barn owls hunt rodents particularly mice and rats. Creating the nests is an alternative to using chemicals that has been used successfully internationally.
The Game Service has since the mid-1990s set up and checks on more than 200 nests throughout Cyprus.
“The aim is for the network to expand along the buffer zone in an effort to reduce rodents,” it said.