Pollution of the lake in the southwestern part of Alyki Larnaca in Meneou (known as Lake Soros) caused by a high concentration of lead coming from hunting cartridges, reports BirdLife Cyprus.
According to a statement issued by the organization, the sampling survey to assess the concentration of lead in the sediments in this part of Aliki, which took place recently, confirmed the worst. Sediment analysis showed high levels of lead concentration in areas of the lake bordering the permitted hunting area. It is worth noting that the lake is one of the few wetlands in Cyprus where hunting is allowed within walking distance from it.
According to BirdLife Cyprus, the findings of the investigation have been sent to the Minister of Interior with a request to both the Minister and the Game and Fauna Service to ban hunting in this area. According to BirdLife Cyprus, Lake Soros is contaminated with lead and this is dangerous for both humans and wildlife, especially for waterfowl. In January and February 2020, more than 100 flamingos were found dead in another area of Aliki Larnaca. Analyzes carried out by the Veterinary Services showed that 85 died due to lead poisoning. The findings, according to BirdLife, show that hunters using the area do not comply with national law banning the use of lead bullet cartridges within 300 meters of wetlands and dams. This ban has been in force since 2007.
As BirdLife Cyprus explains, lead is a very toxic metal and exposure even at low concentrations can adversely affect biological processes, both in humans and in the wild. It is estimated that 1 million waterfowl die each year from lead poisoning across the EU. As a neurotoxin, lead has also been shown to affect many aspects of human behavior, causing brain damage at low exposure levels. According to the announcement, last September BirdLife Cyprus reported the illegal shooting of dozens of bee-eaters and other protected species in this area.
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