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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 April 2020

    Name: Levant water frog Scientific name: Pelophylax bedriagae Family: Ranidae     Description The Levant water frogs are somewhat thick and have long hind legs with five fingers attached to a membrane. While their two front ends have four non membrane-bound fingers. Observing a Levant water frog will notice its big ...

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The species of March 2020

  Name: Phoenician juniper Scientific name: Juniperus phoenicea L. Family: Cupressaceae     Description The Phoenician juniper is an aromatic, short, silver shrub or small tree, up to 10m high. The flowers are small and on the top small branches, the males are small weeds and the females are also cones, with a dark ...

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The species of February 2020

    Scientific name: Propomacrus cypriacus Family: Euchiridae       Description Propomacrus cypriacus is a large and impressive Coleoptera, a beetle, with a length of 40 mm and glowing black-brown colour. Features are the two pointed ends at the side of the chest and the very long, sawn, front legs [1,2,3]. ...

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Species of September 2019

Name: Bonelli’s eagle Scientific name: Hieraaetus fasciatus Family: Accipitridae       General information The Bonelli Eagle (Spezaetus) or as it is known in Cyprus, Perticosynchino is a rare eagle that lives permanently in Cyprus and has a special place among bird lovers. It’s Scientific name is Hieraaetus fasciatus. Description It is a ...

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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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