LifE in the TRNC
By Robin Snape
Recent sightings of interest from across North Cyprus.
- Bonelli’s Eagle Pair, Lefke Dam, Feb 20th (RS)
- Slender-billed Gull 1, Gülseren Lagoon, Feb 22nd (ME)
- Lesser Whitethroat 1, Arapköy, Feb 22nd (KUŞKOR)
- Isabelline Wheatear 1, Güvercinlik Marsh, Feb 22nd (KUŞKOR)
- Calandra Lark ~100, Güvercinlik Marsh, Feb 22nd (KUŞKOR)
- Starling 70, Slurry Pit South West of Ayluga, Feb 22nd (KUŞKOR)
- Grey Wagtail 1, Ayluga, Feb 22nd (KUŞKOR)
- Golden Plover 66, Silverbeach, Feb 23rd (BL, AK)
- Great White Egret 5, Ayluga, Feb 23rd (BL, AK)
- Cattle Egret 231, Ayluga, Feb 23rd (BL, AK)
- Common Swift 10, Pia Bella Hotel Girne, Fab 24th (BL)
- Great Spotted Cuckoo 1 heard, Gönendere Reservoir, Feb 26th (RS)
- Raven pair entering nest space in crag, Balalan Cliffs, Feb 26th (RS)
- Peregrine pair, Balalan Cliffs, Feb 26th (RS)
- Shellduck 10, Gülseren, Feb 27th (GC, BL)
- Ferruginous Duck 50, Haspolat STW, Feb 28th (RS, DB)
- Gadwall 9, Haspolat STW, Feb 28th (RS, DB)
- Spur-winged Plover 40, Haspolat STW, Feb 28th (RS, DB)
- Garganey 1 female, Haspolat STW, Feb 28th (RS, DB)
- Bluethroat 2, Haspolat STW, Feb 28th (RS, DB)
- Long-eared Owl 2, Haspolat STW, Feb 28th (RS, DB)
- Isabelline Wheatear 2, Sadrazamköy, Mar 2nd (BG)
- Hoopoe 2, Sadrazamköy, Mar 2nd (BG)
- Hen Harrier 1 male, Balıkesir Mağusa Rd, Mar 2nd, (RS,DB)
- Black-winged stilt 2, Balıkesir Pools, Mar 3rd, (DR, NA)
- Serin 200, Balıkesir Pools-Haspolat, Mar 3rd, (DR, NA)
- Wryneck 1, Haspolat, Mar 3rd, (DR, NA)
- Common Crane 1, Haspolat STW, Mar 3rd, (DR, NA)
Listed observer initials: RS Robin Snape, ME Mark Easterbrook, BL Brian Little, AK Asuman Korukoğlu, GC Gavin Croucher, BG Birtan Gökeri, DR Doug Radford, NA Neil Avery. To submit your sightings or to see full sighting details visit our bird forum.
Wildlife Casualties and Offences
Bonellis Eagle Found Dead
An adult female Bonelli’s Eagle was reported dead on the Facebook page of a Tukish Cypriot this week who came across the carcass above Çatalköy.
The bird had been dead for as long as two weeks by the time the carcass was inspected by KUŞKOR’s representatives, by which point the wings and claws had been removed presumably for trophies. The eagle is presumed to have been either shot or poisoned. KUŞKOR’s long term monitoring has shown that eleven pairs of Bonelli’s Eagle nest in the Kyrenia Mountain range and this bird most likely belongs to a pair which nests annually between 5 Finger Mountain and Buffavento Castle. The death represents a loss of 5% of our adult breeding eagles and 10% of pairs, since the male of this partnership will now not breed successfully for many years. Bonelli’s eagles are classified as vulnerable in Europe and are protected species under a number of international conventions including the EU Birds Directive. Police and government veterinary officials visited the site of the carcass but no lines of enquiry are believed to have been opened by police.
Buzzard Caught in Fence
A common Buzzard was found trapped by its wing on a barbed wire fence near Tatlısu and was reported to KUŞKOR. The bird was euthanized by a veterinary surgeon in order to prevent further stress and a caged life.
Other Nature News
KUŞKOR 2014 AGM Result
On Saturday March 1st the North Cyprus Society for Protection of Birds and Nature held a committee election at Cine Miles bar in Girne. Biologist Damla Beton was chosen to head the organisation with a committee of 8 elected: Asuman Korukoğlu, Barış Saydam, Birtan Gökeri, Ersan Korudağ, Olkan Ergüler, Robin Snape, Sadık Azimli and Wayne Fuller.
First Hydrophones Retrieved Successfully
Two of three hydrophones deployed off Yedidalga, Girne and Kalecik in December were retrieved, serviced and redeployed this week as part of a year long survey that will shed light on the dolphins and other marine mammals that are using the North Cyprus coast and interacting with fishing nets. Both hydrophones had functioned correctly and provided over two months of data. Both devices recorded dolphins at least weekly, often daily and always during the night. Our main concern was that the buoys and ropes might have been stolen or the gear tampered with by fishermen.
KUSKOR AGM says 'Goodbye' to Martin Marancas in the Chair
The Annual General Meeting of 'KUSKOR', which was founded in 1991, was held on the 1st March at the Cine Miles Cafe in Kyrenia, when after sixteen years at the helm, Martin Marancas stood down from the role of Chairman.
Some twenty people attended the meeting where after welcoming members old and new of both KUSKOR and The Friends of the Library, Martin gave his final annual report and shared that the finances are in a healthy state with no outstanding expenses. Currently there is 5,700tl in the bank and 344tl cash in hand.
The year had been a fairly active one, the highlight of which was the Vets conference which Dr Wayne Fuller organised whereby vets from U.K. and Italy met together with locals from across the island to give information on both birds and turtles on the island. Another event which did not fare as well was a fund raising Concert at Bellapais, which nevertheless added 600tl to Kuskor funds.
Renewal of protocol with the Hunting Federation was deemed to be a good move as there is great concern about the hunting of birds and the indiscriminate hunting of certain species, and both Kuskor and the Hunting Federation are trying to work more closely together and to liaise with the police Department.
Concern was also expressed about many of the wounded birds who come into the care of KUSKOR and how few survive and that it is hoped to be able to provide better facilities for the care of wounded birds in the future.
A deep cause of concern was bird traps which are used far more in the south and which are illegal. It is also big business there and difficult to eliminate and discussions are taking place to find a way forward to bring this practice to an end.
Elections took place, firstly for the position of Chairman with two candidates, firstly Dr.Wayne Fuller who has been Vice Chairman for four years and Damla Beton (wife of Robin Snape). Following a secret ballot, Damla proved to be the new Chairman, and will soon be announcing plans for the future, as soon as the new committee members have had sufficient time to formulate those plans and also to ascertain certain legal aspects of the organisation. It is hoped to organise further conferences and to continue to fight to ensure that the birds and the environment is preserved and conserved for future generations.
Vacancies for eight people meant further secret ballots and from the twelve nominations eight were successful and joined the existing members of the committee, which includes three people on the Disciplinary Committee (Martin Marancas, Irene Raab Marancas and Monika Boyer. The eight successful candidates were Olkan Erguler, Robin Snape, Birtan Cokeri, Sadik Azimli, Asuman Korakoglu, Ersan Korudas, Baris Saydam and Wayne Fuller.
Martin Marancas was thanked for the sixteen years during which he served as Chairman.
If anyone has any queries concerning KUSKOR, its membership and its aims, they are welcome to contact Monika Boyer on 0542 850 6884.
Coffee Cup Conversations
By Can Gazi
There are certain people who light up a room as soon as they enter through the door; the proverbial "life of the party". Maybe it's because of their warm smile or the bright sparkle in their eyes or simply the way they come over and talk to you like as if you've known each other for years even though you've only just met. There is something about that person that attracts people towards them, like a magnet. John Theodore Edevu is one such gentleman that I had the good fortune to meet recently, a man that could easily outshine the brightest of stars in the night sky.
John Theodore Edevu is more popularly known amongst the many fans of his television show as Theodore. Originally from Nigeria, Theodore has been living and studying in North Cyprus for just over a year, arriving on the island at the end of 2012. In a short space of time he has not only embraced the local culture and language but has even adopted the nickname "Bafidi Metin" (Metin from Paphos).
Theodore is currently a student at Cyprus International University in Lefkoşa, majoring in International Relations, a subject well suited to his character. He believes in peace and harmony and has become an "ambassador" of sorts. It is Theodore's personal mission to learn as much as he can about the culture of our island, and he has achieved more than anyone could have possibly imagined. His excellent communication skills has led to great things; for example in his first few weeks here he managed to get a slot on a local television channel, presenting his own programme. In "Theodore's TV Show" he found himself out and about on the streets of the TRNC, chatting with the general public. He also had studio based clips filmed at the Channel T (Kanal T) headquarters based in the capital. Currently on a short hiatus from filming, Theodore is preparing to return to the TV screens later this month with a brand new show called "Cyprus In The Spotlight". With this new show he hopes to promote Cyprus; the people, places and culture, and to do this in three languages, English, Turkish and Greek. He will be travelling all around the island, discovering new locations, meeting new people, covering local events.
When Metin walks down the street he smiles and greets everyone he meets, in Turkish! When asked his name and where he is from, with a cheeky grin he often proclaims that he is "Bafidi Metin". He confides to me that he really feels at home in North Cyprus and believes that deep inside he is a real Cypriot; "I am a 'Kıbrıslı" he proudly exclaims. He has learnt the Turkish language very well and even knows some of the more important sayings and proverbs. In fact his command of the local language means that Theodore is an active member of local groups and associations, including a bi-communal choir. His energy his endless and I find it hard to believe that he has achieved all this by himself and in just a few months too.
Theodore has to be one of the most likeable and friendliest people I have met in recent times and his popularity is growing day by day. His TV shows are also broadcast on satellite and he claims that due to his positive lifestyle here in Cyprus, others are encouraged to come and visit the TRNC too, especially other Nigerian youngsters living in Africa. I congratulate Theodore and hope that his dreams of bringing everyone together, regardless of gender, race or colour, come true. Thanks "kardeş (brother)" Theodore.