Potentially endemic avifauna of Cyprus

Aim: to evaluate the taxonomic status of five breeding endemic subspecies on the island of Cyprus with the use of genotypic and phenotypic (morphological, molecular and acoustical) material.

  • Loxia curvirostra guillemardi
  • Periparus ater cypriotes
  • Certhia brachydactyla dorotheae
  • Otus scops cyprius
  • Garrulus glandarius glaszneri

The need for this evaluation stems from the fact that the techniques used to classify these taxa are outdated. New techniques (e.g.. molecular) are deemed much more reliable and hopefully will shed some more light on the hidden biodiversity of Cyprus.

Objectives of project: To review and evaluate the taxonomic status of the potentially endemic species/subspecies found on the island of Cyprus by comparing with other individuals from the mainland and other nearby islands.

Methods: Comparison between insular and continental individuals using DNA samples (blood and feather) taken from live specimens from the island of Cyprus and specimens from continental Europe/Middle East as well as nearby islands. Mist netting will be used to capture birds and morphometric measurements will also be taken for comparison. Song recordings will be conducted for further comparison of acoustical parameters.