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Species of Month


Cyprus is characterised by great biodiversity of great importance.

  • Is located in one of the Earth’s Hotspots for Biodiversity, in the Mediterranean Basin (25,000 plant species), the second largest after the Tropical Andes.
  • It is included in one of the 10 “mini hotspots” of the Mediterranean because of its high endemism and its significant floral diversity (Medail & Quezel, 1999).
  • It is located in one of the endemism centres of the earth, in the Mediterranean Basin (13,000 endemic species- 52%).
  • 80% of flora species requiring protection under the European Habitats Directives are Mediterranean.
  • Is located in one of the centres of emergence for cultivated land species (Hatzihambis, 2007).

Up to this day far, 1908 different species, subspecies, varieties, forms and hybrids of plants have been recorded in Cyprus. Based on published data, this figure includes all indigenous plants without taking into account cultivated plants. The endemic plants species of Cyprus meaning those the dispersion of which is constricted only to our island, reach the number of 140 (an endemic rate of 7.3%) and are of great importance for our island’s flora.

On the other hand, the Cyprus fauna consists of 30 mammal species that have been recorded in Cyprus of which 16 are bats, 10 are terrestrial, 3 are dolphins and 1 is a seal species. The largest of these is the Cyprus Muflon (Ovis gmelini ophion).

In addition, Cyprus is located on one of the eight main corridors of bird migration from Europe to Africa and vice versa. The birds that have been recorded so far in Cyprus amount to 370 species out of which 53 are permanent inhabitants and the remaining 317 are migratory species. Six of the permanent inhabitants are considered endemic out of which 2 are considered species and 4 subspecies. There are also 22 reptile species in Cyprus, of which 8 are snakes, 11 are lizards and 3 are turtles, 2 marine and one of freshwater. There are also 3 species of amphibians (frogs). There is also a variety of insects found in Cyprus, of which 52 species are butterflies with 9 endemic species.

The Cyprus Centre for Environmental Research and Education presents to you once every month a species from the flora or fauna of Cyprus as the “Species of the Month” and provides you with the most basic information about this species! Cypriot flora and fauna are one of the most valuable treasures of our island and the studying of them will also make us richer …

 

 

The species of August 2018

Name: Walnut Scientific name: Juglans regia Family: Jaguar Description It is a deciduous tree up to 30m high [1,2]. The stem is characterized by a silver-like colour, while the aromatic leaves (25-40 cm length) have mainly dark green colour [2]. Spreading Although it is considered to be a cultivated plant, ...

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The species of July 2018

  Name: Νatrix natrix Scientific name: Νatrix natrix cypriaca Family: Colubridae     Description The length of its body does not exceed 1m, while the female is slightly larger than the male. There are three distinctive colour variants in Cyprus. The most common is gray, light yellow to dark brown, ...

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The species of May 2018

Name: Riverworm Scientific name: Mauremys rivulata  Family: Bataguridae   Description The length of the riverworm’s hull, its carabus, reaches up to 30 cm [2]. Male individuals are smaller in size than females. [2] Its body colour is dark gray-oily to dark brown while the ventral part of the shell is yellow ...

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The species of March 2018

Common Name: Barn swallow Scientific name: Hirundo rustica Family: Hirundinidae     Description It is the most famous species of swallow in Cyprus. It has as its main features a black-brown plumage and a long scissortail. His neck is reddish, a feature that distinguishes it from the rest of his family. ...

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