So two of our most iconic species are now delisted. But that does not mean that we ought to be less concerned locally for their protection.
The delisting of European Roller
is less concerning locally, since the Cyprus population appears to be relatively healthy. In addition, 40 nest boxes that KUŞKOR erected on the Mesaoria Plain this autumn, will surely give them a boost.
The introduction to the list of 5 more species is of great relevance:
Firstly, for protecting habitats. The designation of two Important Bird Areas (IBAs) on the Mesaoria Plain including Haspolat and Kukla Wetlands and the surrounding agricultural lands and halophytic habitats, will be reinforced due to the greater weight that Common Pochard, Northern Lapwing, Curlew Sandpiper and Meadow Pipit now carry. At the Mesaoria sites, these species are recorded regularly in numbers relevant to the designation of IBAs. For example this winter >300 Pochard and >60 Lapwing have overwintered at Haspolat. Kalkanlı Reservoir on the West Coast, regularly hosts hundreds of Common Pochard (regularly >200 and some years >500 including in 2015) and Ferruginous Duck (another IUCN red listed species; 146 and 138 counted in 2013 and 2014 respectively). The latter site is part of a European Union Natura 2000 area, yet is not yet included as an IBA for Cyprus.
Secondly, the listing of European Turtle Dove will be useful in further reducing or eliminating the legal take of this species in North Cyprus, which is still permitted for hunters during a small number of days in autumn.