Tuesday, October 16, 2018

On Line Petition Presented to Cyprus Minister

January 11, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Snake George has presented the Petition to the Cyprus Government .

With over 1,400 signatures from supporters in Cyprus, Europe and Worldwide it should be listened to and action urgently taken to safeguard The Cyprus Grass Snake in its broken habitats on the island.

Please read the Article in the Cyprus Mail below plus Comments.



2 Responses to “On Line Petition Presented to Cyprus Minister”
  1. Cyprus Reptiles Editor says:

    Endangered grass snake could survive yet
    By Patrick Dewhurst, Cyprus Mail
    Published on January 12, 2011

    THE FUTURE survival of Cyprus’ endangered native grass snake, Natrix natrix cypriaca, came a step closer to being ensured yesterday after agriculture minister Demetris Eliades pledged his support for the snake’s conservation.

    In an impromptu private audience, Eliades told Cyprus’ leading reptile expert and conservationist, Hans-Jorg Wiedl: “I care about the natrix natrix cypriaca. This is an utmost priority, not because we are in front of European court, but because we have to save our nature and this unique creature. We have to respect our environment.”

    Wiedl, also known as Snake George, went to the ministry yesterday to present to the minister with a petition of 1,225 signatures, which called on the EU and the government to take immediate action to protect the snake’s habitat from illegal building, fly-tipping and hunting that has brought it to the verge of extinction.

    The petition also called on the government to provide urgently needed resources for Wiedl to establish a captive breeding programme for the Cyprus Grass Snake in Paphos. According to reports, the government has made available €1.2 million for environmental conservation projects and €80,000 for the Paralimni lake area.

    Eliades said that the process of safeguarding the snake’s environment around Paralimni was ongoing and that before the meeting Wiedl he wrote to the environmental service director about the issue.

    He said: “I have just signed a letter answering (the director) on the preparation of the administration management plan” adding that he would recommend the department contact Wiedl to take on board his views.

    Wiedl’s petition coincides with the inclusion of Paralimni Lake in the EU’s Natura 2000 conservation scheme. This scheme aims to assure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats by declaring them as Special Areas of Conservation.

    Paralimni is a seasonal lake that disappears entirely during the hot summer months. It is the grass snake’s most important habitat and is the second biggest site of its kind after Larnaca salt lake.

    In addition to the lake, the Oroklini Lake wetland and the Faros seaside area in Paphos, have been added to the network.

    Wiedl will leave Cyprus on January 24 but has promised to return if the Cyprus government offers to fund a captive breeding programme.

    The minister added “A lot of things have been done, for example, we have removed all the rubbish (from around the lake) and we are very willing and very ready to do a good job in the Paralimni area.”

  2. Cyprus Reptiles Editor says:

    Wed, January 12th 2011 at 18:21
    Voice of Nature comments:
    Snake George has been in the island for so many years and everyone knows he is the expert of all the Cyprus reptiles and amphibians. This is because he has spend years and years doing research on these creatures, observing their behavior and habits but most importantly he found out the adequate conditions that would make each creature be happy and safe. He absolutely adores these creatures of God and cares deeply for them and especially for the Cyprus grass snake that is just about to extinct forever from this island!

    By removing the rubbish around the Paralimni lake that will simply not do almost anything for the snake itself. Hunters and other people will still be going there and will kill the snake as soon as they will spot it because unfortunately most Cypriots have learned that all snakes are bad. Already farmers and house residences started having problems with rats and mice simply because we have killed snakes and thus we have imbalanced nature and disrupted the chain of life. Snakes are here for a reason. A good reason. Except this next to the Paralimni lake there is an EKO petrol station from which people connected a pipe and let the harmful and toxic oils and petrol to go in the water of Paralimni lake where the grass snake used to live. And everyone knows what that does! It is deadly for the creatures and the nature! Is this really the action which is taken by the government? We must ALL realize that an action must be taken immediately before the last grassnakes on this island disappear. Before it is too late.

    The only person in Cyprus that can really act and make the change is Hans-Jorg Wiedl. He was able to reproduce many times the grassnake as well as many other species at his reptile park, the ‘Snake George’s Reptile Park’ in Peyia before it was forced to close down. This proves once again that he is the expert for this.

    The government of Cyprus must offer to fund a captive breeding programme for which Snake George will be in charge. Around 1240 people have signed and agreed to this through an online petition which will be sent to the EU and which has as a title/subject ”We the undersigned request the EU and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to take immediate action to conserve the Cyprus Grass Snake…. We further request that the EU and the Cyprus Government provide urgently all the resources necessary (land, grants, services etc.,) for Hans-Jorg Wiedl (Snake George) to establish a captive breeding programme for the Cyprus Grass Snake in, Pafos, Cyprus”. This can now be done especially after the government has made available €1.2 million for environmental conservation projects.

    Snake George has been trying for so long to educate people, students and visitors from all over the world about snakes and their importance through his reptile park which he was forced to shut down. He even wrote too books about the lovely Reptiles and Amphibians and Cyprus and he is planning to write more with the hope that people will finally understand how important it is to preserve and help safe our ecosystem.

    Snake George never got any help from the Cyprus government appart from all the talking. Until today he has been doing everything from his own budget and this was only for the safety the preservation and the research on these lovely creatures. 1240 and a lot more agree that now he deserves a decent help from the government of Cyprus through a funded captive breeding programme which will be the only and the best solution for the Cyprus Grass snake.

    After his reptile park was forced to shut down he was looking so hard for a piece of land or any help he could get from the government. Then he was trying so hard to help people realize how dangerous the situation is for the grassnake and our Cypriot nature. Unfortunately his voice was never heard and all he got back was ignorance!

    Because of this in a few weeks time he is planning to leave Cyprus for a better future.
    Hopefully the government will understand now what a big mistake this will be since losing him Cyprus will lose the Cyprus Grass snake forever! Hans-Jorg Wiedl is he future of the Cyprus Grass snake and all other snakes and amphibians of Cyprus.

    Even if someone else takes his place he/she will need at least 15 years to reach the level of his experience and his knowledge!

    He is willing to come back from Austria and start from scratch in order to save one of God’s most lovely creations which he adores as long as he gets help and be treated by the government as he deserves and not be treated as a foreigner and let his voice to be heard for the first time in his life!

    This snake deserves to leave! Everyone MUST help save the Cyprus grass snake. Now is really the time to act before it is too late. Before we let the Grass snake die forever..

    mark as inappropriate
    Wed, January 12th 2011 at 17:04
    nks comments:
    Let’s be very clear about this: this poor man (who is a guest in our country), was not only screwed over by the government but similarily by the church (who had promised him the use of land to create a sanctuary only for them to change their mind after they had said YES).

    It’s embarrassing that we need to rely on a foreigner to protect our wild life.

    Suppose that’s what happens when the vast majority of our population are ignorant tools.

    mark as inappropriate
    Wed, January 12th 2011 at 16:15
    Ben Dover comments:
    Oroklini has a lot of concrete put down and a market operates there, Paralimni lake is just a dump with houses built on some of it.
    Sadly we will not see snake George back in Cyprus in my opinion.
    This expert lived here for years and if the goverment cared about the environment and flora ans fauna they would have enlisted his help years ago…
    the government and a lot of the people have no interest in the country they inhabit. the Akarmas is ankle deep in spent cartridges, and even the tidal edge of the sea is devoid of the colonies of sea life you find in a healthy environment.
    Mr Eliades is just mouthing platitudes im afraid..

    mark as inappropriate
    Wed, January 12th 2011 at 14:29
    Dee from Paralimni comments:
    Pity they couldn’t have shown their willingness to help before Snake George was forced to evacuate his park in Paphos. As usual, shutting the stable door……………..

    mark as inappropriate
    Wed, January 12th 2011 at 13:41
    Harry comments:
    A Cyprus government office / organisation doing a “good job” in protecting this island’s environment? I see the minister has a sense of humour!