Enhancing biodiversity in the agroecosystems of Lemnos: An action for Tyto alba (barn owl)

Enhancing biodiversity in the agroecosystems of Lemnos: An action for Tyto alba (barn owl)

  • ΕΛ

Modern, intensified, agriculture is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss, being identified as a pressure for 24,000 of the 28,000 species at risk of extinction according to the criteria of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). At the same time, it is one of the most important drivers of climate change, with 30% of total anthropogenic emissions being attributed to it.

The project “Conserving and enhancing agricultural biodiversity on Lemnos” comes to reinforce MedINA’s wider programme “Terra Graeca” to ensure sustainable agri-food systems and aims to implement biodiversity enhancement measures in cooperation with the local farmers’ network on the island of Lemnos.

As part of the project, and in cooperation with the Οrganization for Βiodiversity in Αgricultural Εcosystems “ΤΥΤΟ”, we will carry out the installation of artificial nests to enhance the population of the barn owl (Tyto alba), a species that is an important ally of farmers. Being a keen predator that is active at night, Tyto alba feeds almost exclusively on small rodents such as mice, rats, shrews, etc. With an average annual consumption of 2,000-4,000 rodents, it plays a key role in the ecosystems in which it is found.

The Οrganization for Βiodiversity in Αgricultural Εcosystems “TYTO” will undertake the scientific supervision of the action, being the first organization to introduce in the agricultural management of Greece a holistic, circular economy, and sustainable philosophy with the “Barn Owl Project”.

This pilot action in Lemnos aims both to control the population of mice and to protect this iconic species. Stay tuned for news about the action and the project!

The project “Conserving and enhancing agricultural biodiversity on Lemnos” is funded by the A.G. Leventis Foundation.

Featured image: Tyto alba is in flight! © I. Theodoropoulos.