We have mentioned
elsewhere in these pages that even though it may seem a great thing to do,
please don't visit the turtles of the Akamas at Lara beach. They truly do
have enough to contend with without the numbers of tourists traipsing to see
them rising. So that you don't need to go, we have published some pictures
turtle hatching ( on it's side )
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge them
These guys do their fair share of damage to the
baby turtle population ,
they are called Ghost crabs.
Click the Tunny to see Mediterranean Fish
is important, so if you are a diver, fisherman, beach or pleasure craft user check this out.
In case you don't get that far here is something of interest to
anybody looking at this page..... a few years ago now we received an important letter from a
I think everyone should read it and do what they can!
So here it is:
'I have just returned from diving the Cape Greco area, my 15th time in the last 5 years.
What has happened to the fish? Where have they all gone? We must do something because
there is very little to see these days.
Konnos point. I saw 300 juvenile fish dead on the bottom covered in fire worms. Yes, they
are still using Dynamite!
Come on, take a leaf from Sharm el Sheik and declare the whole area a National Park. No
fishing within one mile of the shore.
I have complained to the CTO but no response yet, don't suppose they will.
They will sit on their arses till Scuba is dead and then ask why.
The dive shops must get together via PADI or BASC and do something before the industry is
So we started a
here, and would be very happy if you would join it. Every voice
counts. Please add yours today.
Photo courtesy of A.Dementropoulos
The "two tailed Pasha" butterfly is not totally unique
to Cyprus, and this not the only place you are likely to see one.
The salt lake in Larnaca attracts these guys
every year on their migration route, and as visibility from the airport road is good
towards the salt lake, you may see them as you arrive or depart. There was a
problem with the birds dying in 2003/5 from an unknown cause. Possibilities
included the lead pellets from the local clay pigeon shooting range, which
apparently were falling into the lake and the build up of heavy metals, or the
fact that flamingos are bottom feeders and thereby were imbibing the pellets
with their food. We do not think this was the cause, as it was a fairly recent
development, the pellets had been going into the lake for years.
Another plausible theory was that the lake had not
been allowed to dry out for a couple of years, thereby messing up the natural
eco system which had developed there over millennia. We hope that this will
now stop and the salt lake will be allowed to be a naturally draining salt
lake, fit to welcome the flamingos for years to come, bearing in mind of
course that we now have a bird flu scare to contend with.
See the salt lake as it
dries here, the second and third picture shows that a lot of people consider
it a convenient rubbish tip.
The Mouflon nearly became extinct in Cyprus, but
due to a breeding program in captivity they are now re-inhabiting the mountain region of
Troodos. They are elusive and shy, but you may see them at the village of Stavros
tis Psokas, where there is a reserve dedicated to their protection. Cyprus Airways
adopted the Mouflon as its emblem.
Bravo Cyprus Airways, it is a shame that the service I have experienced on
your flights would not have been out of place in a badly run zoo.....
Oroklini decided to turn the old marshland near the
motorway into a lake.... oh the birds were happy, loads of ducks graced the
new ' sanctuary' a crane, an injured flamingo , unable to leave on it's
migration, geese and even a couple of black footed swans (until they were
shot by a brave intrepid hunter ) ... then.... they stopped the water
flowing in, a couple of local residents complained (probably quite rightly)
that it was a daft idea... it smelt and encouraged mosquito's and other
vermin... so... in the middle of the summer, when a whole community of
creatures that we promised a brave new world to are sweltering beside a
rapidly drying saline puddle... we leave them to die.... we MUST NOT BEHAVE
SO IRRESPONSIBLY. They must be given water until the rain arrives in
November... then they can be moved or whatever... but please Oroklini...
don't leave them to die.
We do have a few indigenous snakes in Cyprus, the most common
being non venomous.
We only have one really dangerous viper, the
Macrovipera l.lebetina Cypriensis,
otherwise known as the blunt nosed viper. A brownish sandy colour it
blends in well with the rocky terrain of Cyprus. It can get pretty
big both length wise and width wise.
The coin snake is very similar
in looks but is harmless, it is not a shy snake, and if one
approaches it will hiss loudly and probably bite. It is a painful
bite but contains no poison.
There are a few other snakes,
but none of them is particularly harmful to humans, (The premise
being that the venom is only enough to kill lizards) these include
the cat snake, the Montpellier snake, the whip snake, the worm snake
and the Cyprus whip snake.
In 25 years I have only ever
seen one snake, and that was in a flat in larnaca. It was yellow
with black markings and quite long, no mention of it in any
literature I have searched through, maybe I imagined it !
The Cyprus grass snake Natrix natrix Cypriaca is under severe threat of extinction.
Please see more here.
This page will be added to as and when we get
feedback about conservation , problems or interesting
projects, so please let us know, if you know something that we don't.
(That shouldn't be difficult.)
Back to the Wildlife page here