Further Endangerment of the Cyprus Grass Snake at Paralimni Lakes
Report by Hans-Jorg Wiedl, aka Snake George, on Paralimni Lakes, Cyprus – October – November 2011
(The content was provided by Snake George and organised for presentation by Linda Crossley and John Mason)
Possible Endangerment of the Cyprus Grass Snake (Natrix natrix cypriaca) during clean up at Paralimni by Cyprus Government.
In 1995, I contacted The Ministry of Agriculture and told them about the big problem about pollution, the hunters and
motocross at Paralimni Lakes. I found many dead grass snakes shot and killed in different ways and a terrible situation with the rubbish around the lake.
Since 1995 the three successive Ministers of Agriculture promised that they will start from now own to do everything to save the grass snake. But they did nothing so the situation became worse from one year to another. There was never
anything done from the Government to save the grass snake.
I visited Paralimni during the recent period of civil engineering works.
This action was published in Phileleftheros on 15 November 2010 (as attached in the Greek language only).
It was from the beginning the biggest mistake not to collect grass snakes from this area before the civil engineering works were carried out.
I believe that because of this extensive civil engineering work The Government has killed the last grass snakes in the area and exposed them unduly to predators.
I am quite sure if they had informed me what they are planning to do there was a chance I could save at least some of the grass snakes.
From the petrol EKO station they put oil in the channel and everyone knows what that means.
The hunters had their festival on the lake as we found so many dead birds and all the promises that the Government would stop to give permission for hunting at that area was not true.
It would be impossible for the grass snake to survive.
I would like that someone from the EU from Brussels to come and see the Paralimni lake or Xyliatou dam or even the other streams in the Troodos where the grass snake used to live and now is gone.
[Note : The EU Commission for the Environment has been informed with a copy of the report as evidence (12/10). 'Yannis.COUNINIOTIS [at] ec.europa [dot] eu' tells us that he responsible for monitoring the legal action being taken by the EU against Cyprus.]
We can just pray and hope that there is somewhere a small population of grass snakes which might survive.If you wish to see George’s pictorial report please click below;
[Charalampos Theopemptou, Cyprus Commissioner for the Environment was unable to help; see Comment below detailing his email response to the report.]
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