The project «Habitat restoration and wise use for Akrotiri and Cape Pyla» started in July 2021 and will last for 3 years. The project is funded by Darwin Plus UK, with the aim to restore and enhance key wildlife habitats within the Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs), focusing on the Akrotiri wetlands and the native scrubland on Cape Pyla (Dhekelia). The project will promote wise use of both areas and at the same time it will develop eco-tourism opportunities to support the local economy.
The project partners are Terra Cypria, BirdLife Cyprus (coordinating beneficiary), the Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas Administration Environment Department (SBAA ED) and the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) UK.
Within the Akrotiri Peninsula, the project will focus on restoring specific wetland areas by managing the reed beds in Zakaki Marsh and the protection of important plant species by targeted fencing. At the same time, the project will support the sustainable cattle grazing as a conservation tool at Akrotiri Marsh. It will develop and support eco-friendly tourism opportunities for the enhancement of the local economy and encouraging the wise use of the area. An access management plan will be developed, for the reduction of the disturbance on key wildlife species and sensitive habitats of Akrotiri.
At Cape Pyla, the project will focus on the management of the Invasive Alien Species, Acacia saligna.
Actions that will take place in the areas include:
- Acacia saligna post-clearance habitat restoration and management methods at Cape Pyla.
- Reed management solutions at Zakaki Marsh.
- Support of cattle grazing as a sustainable conservation tool at Akrotiri Marsh.
- Development of an access management plan to reduce disturbance on key wildlife species and sensitive Akrotiri habitats.
- Enhancement of eco-tourism opportunities within Akrotiri peninsula.