A simple glance at the map is enough, even to the most inexperienced
one, to understand why the Antikythira Island is so important for the migration
of birds. This importance explains the decision of HOS (Hellenic Ornithological
Society) to set up an observatory for the birds' migration route from Africa to
Europe and vice versa. A single piece of land surrounded by miles of sea is the
only opportunity of rest for the birds during their migration. HOS, partner of
BirdLife International in Greece, is the only non governmental organization in
Greece for the study and protection of wild birds and their habitats. Soon enough
HOS realized the ornithological importance of the island and decided to promote
research and the value of Antikythira.
The support of the municipality and the funding of the Leventis Foundation allowed this idea to become real. The difficulties for such a project were too many, but the final result is the best reward. The ringing missions in the region and the research so far are continuously successful proving this way the importance of the region. Seting up the observatory provides the necessary basis for systematic data record providing information for the species and their populations. This promotes the island as well, something that the people realize as they support HOS to this difficult task.
The main targets for the Antikythira Bird Observatory are the following:
•The tracking of migration through ringing
•The record of raptor species migration by counts
•The monitoring of important species in Antikythira and the islets around, with special emphasis at Eleonora's falcon.
•The training of new ringers from Greece and abroad
The basic plan includes ringing missions for two months in spring and autumn. The ringers live at the observatory until another space is available. The recording of raptor species migration is done for two months in autumn with researchers placed in two strategic points on the island. The monitoring of the Eleonora’s falcon will continue, and the ringing training is planned mainly in autumn.
Apart from ringers, HOS plans to offer the opportunity to birdwatchers too, to pariticipate in these actions. This way the observatory is planned to support anyone who is interested in:
•Get trained as a ringer
•Support in any way to the operation of the observatory
Whoever is interested in participating in one or more of the activities mentioned above could come in contact with HOS. Basic prerequisite to participate is to have time to offer(ideally two weeks or more).
When the Antikythira Bird Observatory started its operation a dream came true for HOS despite the difficulties that it faced. The observatory was built thanks to the dedication for its importance but also thanks to the support of the Leventis Foundation. For this reason HOS thanks the Foundation and mr Leventis personally for their crucial support in our work.
This text is cited June 2005 from the Community of Antikythira URL below
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