Cyprus Flora and Fauna
Cyprus Flora and Fauna
Cyprus has not got a large amount of Fauna and today you will find 7 species of land mammals, 26 species of amphibians and reptiles, 357 species of birds and a great variety of insects and mites. The coastal waters of Cyprus are home to over 190 fish species and various species of crabs, sponges and Echinodermata. The largest wild animal found in Cyprus is the Mouflon which is a rare type of wild sheep. The Cyprus Mouflon can only be found on the island in the forest areas of Paphos and Limassol. Cyprus is also a stopover for millions of birds migrating from Europe to Africa and this has been observed since ancient times. This is due to the two salt lakes in Larnaca and Akrotiri. One of the most amazing species of birds found on the island is the Eleonora Falcon and the Imperial Eagle which are birds of prey found in mountainous regions. Cyprus is also known for its variety of partridges, quail, snipe, plover and woodcock.
Foxes and hares are also common and you will also find a lot of hedgehogs in the countryside. The National Parks also have wild donkeys that are unique to Cyprus. Sea creatures include seals and the green and loggerhead turtles. The turtles are a magnificent site breeding on the islands sandy beaches and they are strictly a protected species. There is also a variety of snakes on the island, some of them highly dangerous. Spring and summer are the time that these snakes take to the countryside and although the majority are harmless, it important to be aware that snakes like the Montpelier Snake, which likes to hide amongst ruins, their bite can cause painful swellings and a headache. The Blunt-Nosed Viper has a yellow hornlike tip and its bite is highly dangerous. Springtime is the ideal time of the year if you want to see the Cleopatra and Swallowtail butterflies. There are as many as 50 different migrant species that pass through the island. There are a variety of small and large lizards like the iguana that roam the countryside with the smaller lizards visible throughout the country. Insects like the cicada which is the noisiest insect on the island are just an example of the thousands of insects on th island.
Cyprus boasts over 1,800 species and subspecies of flowering plants. The island is an interesting destination for nature lovers as it has a lot to offer. Out of these species, 125 are endemic and this is attributed to the varied microclimate and geology of the island. The flora of Cyprus has attracted visitors and botanists throughout the years. With over 400 specimens to identify, botanists who usually visit the island in spring, are enthusiastic to be able to see the flora of Cyprus in all its glory. The valleys and hillsides are awash with colourful wildflowers that are a magnificent sight. Anemones, mandrake and a variety of daisies abound in the open fields. The black tulip or tulipa cypria is a dark red tulip that is found in cornfields and is unique to Cyprus. Beautiful ranunculus can also be seen to flower from February to May on the hillsides and the turban buttercup and Persian crowfoot also grow in a variety of colours. At this time of the year, you will also find Arabian and Cyprus sun roses in dry rocky places. Orchids like the green winged orchis moria, the pyramidal orchid and the ploughshare orchid can be found amongst pine wood and dry grass areas from March to May.
One of the most spectacular nature reserves in Cyprus must be the Akamas region in Paphos. Visiting this area will give you an extensive view of virgin habitats and vegetation that has not been altered in anyway. In spring you will be amazed at the breathtaking beauty of this area with its pristine coastline and marine life. Green turtles still make their nests on the sandy beaches of Lara. The Akamas range has a range of hills that reach 670 meters in height, offering magnificent views of the coastline. The whole area has been declared a nature reserve and it is well worth visiting if you are interested in seeing the natural habitat of the island.
For more detailed information of the Flora and Fauna of Cyprus, check out the links below: