Bird Life Cyprus is organising a family-friendly, activity-packed event to celebrate World Wetlands Day 2019 at Nicosia’s largest wetland, within Athalassa National Forest Park on Saturday, February 2 from 9.30 am to 12 pm.
World Wetlands Day (WWD) is celebrated on February 2 in a bid to raise global awareness about the important role of wetlands for people and the planet. This year, the focus of WWD is the role of wetlands in combating Climate Change.
09:30 – 10:30 Ringing Demonstration During the ringing demonstration, participants will get a unique chance to watch from up close various species of birds being ringed and released back to nature. Bird ringing is a useful research tool that helps us keep a close eye on bird populations. By placing a uniquely numbered metal ring around a bird’s leg, we can identify birds as individuals and can answer vital questions such as how long birds live, when and where they move, helping us better protect birds and the places they need.
10:30 – 12:00 Birdwatching Found within Athalassa Park is the largest and most important wetland of Nicosia city and a refuge to over 170 species of birds. Many of these birds are migratory and use the area either to spend the winter here or as a stopover during migration in autumn and spring. Binoculars, telescopes and bird guides will facilitate our birdwatching experience and relevant information material and educational activities will enrich our knowledge.
This year’s WWD theme “Wetlands and climate change,” highlights wetlands as the key to coping with climate change. Wetlands play a significant role in stabilising greenhouse gas emissions and in blunting the impacts of climate change. They naturally absorb and store carbon, they protect coastlines from extreme weather and they reduce floods and relieve droughts. Conserving and restoring these amazing ecosystems will help us prepare for, cope with and bounce back from the impacts of climate change.
World Wetlands Day always comes soon after BirdLife Cyprus’ mid-winter waterbird count which is part of the International Waterbird Census (IWC). This year, BirdLife Cyprus’ volunteers counted over 16,300 waterbirds at more than 50 wetland sites across Cyprus.