EU asked to take action now to save the Cyprus Grass Snake
A big thank you to the 20 people who have become Members of Cyprus Reptiles over the past few days and who have submitted letters online to the EU Parliament.
What we do need is many more people to help me with this campaign which is about saving the harmless Cyprus Grass Snake from extinction and through a captive breeding programme facilitate the re-establishment of the Snake George Reptile Park as a place of education in Cyprus.
There are always many, many questions about when I will re-open my Reptile Park because it was such a good place to enjoy and learn at.
Now is the time to show your support for my campaign. Thank you for your help.
One of the fundamental rights of European citizens is that any citizen, acting individually or jointly with others, may at any time exercise his right of petition to the European Parliament under Article 194 of the EC Treaty.
This is the right to petition; not a petition in the sense of many people signing a letter or complaint but the right of an individual or organisation to complain or make a request of the EU Parliament.
In official language such petitions give the European Parliament the opportunity of calling attention to any infringement of a European citizen’s rights by a Member State or local authorities or other institution.
The Cyprus Grass Snake Petition wording George submitted is here
If you wish to also personally petition the EU then please go to this link;
We wish that EU Petitions were completed in the same way as in the UK. But they are not.
You cannot add your name to someone else’s EU Petition. It is either from an individual, submitted individually, or by an organisation in its name, again as an individual petition or submission.
So you have to submit each seperately using the link.
If you would like to select text from Snake George’s Petition to make yours then please feel free. (We hope that explains EU Petitions !!)
The Government of Cyprus has published a booklet about the Cyprus Grass Snake (Natrix natrix cypriaca) which sets out a brief understanding of the ecology of the species. It states that this species is protected by law.
Two locations for the species are referred to. Paralimni Lake and The Xyliatos Dam.
Mr Hans-Jorg Wiedl is well known in Cyprus and Europe as an academically accredited expert in the herpetofauna of Cyprus. He is also popularly known as “Snake George” on the island of Cyprus and abroad, and has published three books on the Reptiles and Amphibians of Cyprus and manypublications in magazines and newspapers and also documentary films and International television and radio interviews.
He is widely acknowledged by academics in Cyprus as an expert on the Cyprus Grass Snake which he rediscovered in Xyliatos Dam in 1992 and in 1995 located another population of the Cyprus Grass Snake in Paralimni Lake and then again in the Troodos Mountains in 2006.
In the Xyliatos Dam the Cyprus Grass Snake is already extinct and if there is no immediate action in Paralimni Lake the situation will be the same, as well as the Troodos.
Since then he has successfully run a captive breeding programme for the Cyprus Grass Snake in Paphos, but this facility has been closed because the tenure of the land was subject to forfeit by the owner. Hans-Jorg Wiedl has also become expert in the conservation and ecology of the species.
Mr Wiedl has provided The Cyprus Government with comprehensive written reports recording the extinction of this species at Xyliatos and he alleges that this has been caused by the failure of the Cyprus Government to manage the conservation of this species appropriately. You can read a summary of this on the Cyprus Reptiles Web Site.
He has also provided The Cyprus Government with a report on the position of the species at Paralimni and you will be aware of the issues reported very recently in the Cyprus Mail.
Once again the failure of the Cyprus Government and Municipal Authorities is alleged to have placed this species at risk of fairly immediate extinction at this site.
Mr Wiedl has a copy of an accredited scientific paper published by a German scientist which assesses other sites in the Troodos foothills and the prospects for the wild population in Cyprus from which it is concluded that this is further evidence that this species is at risk of extinction.
The establishment of a captive breeding programme under the management and direction of Mr Wiedl is more than urgent and this case was made to the Environment Commissioner for Cyprus, Mr. Charalampos Theopemptou.
Mr Wiedl has since attended several meetings with the Cyprus Government and provided them with every assistance that he can. But this project cannot, nor should it, be financed in any way from private resources and it is the responsibility of the Cyprus Government to protect this species by Cyprus Law and those of the Directives of the
As I understand from Mr Wiedl the Government of Cyprus is requesting information from him that can only be obtained by the expenditure of substantial sums of money by Mr Wiedl for professional design and costing fees. Mr Wiedl cannot do this as he has family commitments with two daughters who are studying, one for her Masters
Degree for Medical Biology and the other a Veterinary Surgeon, and so this action of the Cyprus Government is alleged to have brought this project to a halt with no prospect of even starting.
It has been published in the Cyprus Press that the EU is intending to take legal action against the Republic of Cyprus for failure to protect and conserve this species in Cyprus.
Please proceed with legal action.
This Petition requests the EU to take immediate and wider legal action against the Cyprus Government in the matter of the failure to conserve the Cyprus Grass Snake at locations in Xyliatos and Paralimni Lake and to take the necessary action to ensure conservation of this species in certain other locations and to instruct the Cyprus Government to provide urgently all the resources necessary for Hans- Jorg Wiedl (Snake George) to establish a captive breed programme in Cyprus.
I would welcome the EU taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the vital breeding project is established with the utmost urgency. Otherwise this species will soon be certainly extinct.
Please write back to me and tell me what action the EU is going to take and the dates involved by which the EU will achieve success.
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