British Bases on the island have begun work to remove more Acacia bushes from the live firing range at Cape Pyla.
Officials say Acacia, there are two reason from removing the Acacia which has regrown over several years. One is to allow the ranges to be used safely and the other is to prevent illegal bird trapping.
Bases spokesman Sean Tully said: “This is the second phase of our program of acacia removal which started in November last year. Last time we removed about 11 football pitches worth, this time it will be a slightly larger area.”
The removal of the acacia will include a programme to treat the area to prevent regrowth of the plant.
Tully went on to say that: “Bird trapping is illegal in all of Cyprus and the Bases will not tolerate this criminal activity taking place. By removing a significant area of acacia we know is popular with bird trappers we will deny them the opportunity to carry out this activity and at the same time, provide a safer area for our troops to train on.”
The Pyla range is small and is the only area where target practise using live ammunition can take place, it is vital that as much of the limited training area as possible can be used. If acacia growth prevents exercises it reduces the Base’s ability to train their soldiers effectively.
Tully said: “This year we will continue working with Birdlife Cyprus, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the local community to tackle illegal bird hunting on the Bases. This is the first of several initiatives which will include increased patrols in bird trapping hotspots.”