Animal care

New bird species announced for Cyprus: Cyprus Scops Owl

Readers mail…
From Damla Beton – BIRDKOR(www.kuskor.org)….

Dear member of the press, as you can see from the news below and the headline, a new species of bird unique to Cyprus has been found. The Association for the Protection of Birds and Nature has contributed to this work.

Cyprus now has a third endemic bird, the Cyprus Scops Owl (Otus cyprius). After a review of published studies, including data submitted by the KUŞKOR ringing scheme, Birdlife International have formally recognised this new species. This recent development further supports our island as an Endemic Bird Area in Europe. The recognition is important not only for the conservation of habitats that support the Cyprus Scops Owl, but it is also important for ecotourism, since many bird watchers are attracted to Cyprus for the opportunity to see endemic birds.This means; Cyprus scops owl is the only one in the world!

Scops owl is the smallest owl species in Cyprus and its name originates from the ancient Greek word skopos meaning “to watch”. It is a nocturnal owl and lives a very secretive life. It is almost impossible to see it when it is perched, yet it watches you! Although scops owl is hard to see, it is very easy to hear as its song booms through the night and can be heard from a long distance.

Cyprus is the only Endemic Bird Area in Europe because of the other two endemic bird species living on our island. With the addition of our endemic owl species, this feature is further reinforced!

The International Council for the Protection of Birds officially recognises this species and of course the living areas need to be protected with care. But not only that, it also makes our country a more popular place for ecotourism.

Undoubtedly, many bird enthusiasts who have heard this news will be eager to visit our country to see the endemic birds of our island.

(Photo by Olkan Ergüler)
Society for the Protection of Birds and Nature – KUSKOR

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