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Species of the 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 2021

    Name: European green toad Scientific name: Bufotes viridis Family: Bufonidae   Description A characteristic feature of his appearance is the well-developed parotid glands that protrude from his head. The color of the upper surface varies in shades of gray and olive with some darker olive spots and orange spots. The bottom ...

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The species of March 2021

    Name: Christ’s thorn jujube Scientific name: Ziziphus spina-christi Family: Rhamnaceae Description It is an evergreen tree with whitish bark or light brown color. This tree has characteristically rich foliage with its width reaching 4m in a round shape and its height reaching about 14m. The leaves of the ...

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The species of February 2021

  Name: Common cuckoo Scientific name: Cuculus canorus Family: Cuculidae     Description The cuckoo is a medium-sized bird that ranges in length from 32-36 cm, while the wingspan can reach up to 60 cm. It has a long slender body with a long rounded tail and long wings so ...

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The species of January 2021

  Name: Alyssos of Akamas Scientific name: Alyssum akamasicum Family: Cruciferae     Name Rare species and endemic plant of Cyprus. Its name is based on the Akamas area, because its largest population has been identified and recorded in that area. Description It is a perennial plant, with shoots 15-30cm ...

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Species of 2018

January    Name: Flamingo Scientific name: Phoenicopterus Family: Phoenicopteridae   February   Common Name: Thorny burnet, Pricky Burnet, Brushwood Scientific Name: Sarcopoterium spinosum Family: Rosaceae   March   Common Name: Barn swallow Scientific name: Hirundo rustica Family: Hirundinidae   April   Common Name: Tulip of Akamas Scientific Name: Tulipa akamasica Family: Liliaceae     ...

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The species of 2014

 January Scientific Name: Lycium schweinfurthii Dammer Family: Solanaceae – Solanous     February Name: Hoopoe Scientific name: Upupa epop     March   Name: Dead-nettles Scientific name: Lamium garganicum ssp. striatum – (Sm). Hayek Family: Labiatae     April Name: Long-eared owl Scientific name: Asio otus       May Name: Corydalis Scientific name: Corydalis rutifolia – Sibth.et.Sm Family: Fumariaceae ...

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