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Nature and Wildlife

Nature & Wildlife

Nature is a focal point to any holidays in Northern Cyprus. From the gorgeous panoramic views to the wildlife, beaches and scenery. Here some examples of North Cyprus and its wonderful nature:

 

Birding In North Cyprus 

Cyprus is in a prime position for catching sight of many different species of birds. There are 347 in total, though most of these are in transit, 46 are native to North Cyprus while 7 are completely unique to the area. Twice yearly you'll catch flocks of birds on their migration route, which makes for a beautiful and rare experience. 

Every March to May is the time of northward migration while August to October is southward. For this reason North Cyprus is a popular location to go bird watching in. There are various locations from which you can get the best views. These include the seductive sandy sliver of the Karpas peninsula, where much exotic wildlife retreats to. Birds you might spot here include orioles and bee-eaters, rollers and if you explore the peninsula further you might see some Audouin's gulls. 

The Kyrenia Mountains provide one of the best watching spots too, surrounding you with scenery that makes you feel truly lost in nature and at an advantageous perspective to see the birds that swoop through this setting. Kantara castle is not only a fascinating historical sight but it also offers the chance to catch a glimpse of birds such as the charismatically named spectacled warbler or resident wheatear. Since 1989 the North Cyprus Society for the Protection of Birds (NCSPB) has worked with other environmental groups such as the local Greenpeace to help protect in particular the few endemic birds in Cyprus. Whether or not you're interested in bird watching, there's no doubt that if you have the chance to see just a few of the many that spread their wings across the island you'll be mesmerized by the views they create and the spark they add to the atmosphere.

 

Wild Birds

 

There are 347 different species of bird in North Cyprus, of which 7 are endemic to the area. 

Below is a short list of a few of these:

 

Native Birds: 

The Skylark, The Chaffinch, The Greater Spotted Cuckoo, The Scarlet Wheatear, The Mountain Swift, The Crested Cormorant, The Scarlet Vulture, The Rock Partridge, The Turtle Dove, The Diurnal Owl, The Kestrel, The Blue Raven, The Rock Swallow, The Rock Dove, the Manx Shearwater, The Blue Rock Fieldfare, The Dwarf Owl, the Crested Skylark, The Raven, The Cyprus Warbler, The Great Titmouse, The Canary, The Goldfinch Spring 

 

Migrants Birds:

The Hummingbird, The Cuckoo, The Island Wheatear, The Kingfisher, The Black Red tail, The Golden Oriole, The Starling, The Cane, The Garden Warbler, The European Robin, The Blackbird, The Fieldfare, The Stock Dove Falcon, The Grey Heron, The Purple Heron, The Willow Warbler, The Flamingo, The Wheatear, The Whitethroat, The Lapwing.

 

 

Fungus in North Cyprus 

 

The majority of fungus as we know them are in the form of mushrooms (although truffles are also fungi) and largely are tasty and fine to eat but some variations are inedible and poisonous. The ability to tell the difference between the two generally takes a lot of mushroom knowledge but there's one thing that you don't have to worry about and that's how good they taste when they've been expertly prepared and cooked by a traditional Cypriot chef. North Cyprus is home to 109 different species of fungi; with many more believed to exist that haven't yet been studied.  

 

 Turtles

 

Turtle watching 

The best time of year to spot some turtles in North Cyprus is from late May to August, with nesting occurring around this time. From May to early June in particular you might be able to see some green turtle mating pairs. Nests usually hatch at night time and the months of July through to September are when this usually happens. Alagadi Beach, which is just 10 miles east of Kyrenia, is a popular turtle spotting location, with both loggerheads and green turtles. It also makes a relaxing day trip destination in that visitors can just relax on the sand and soak up some sun! The Golden Beach along the Karpas peninsula is another beautiful turtle watching spot, with a welcomed breeze and clean paradise inspired environment. There are also some restaurants nearby for having a snack break. Turtle watching excursions are organised often and you can always enquire about this at your resort or ask one of our travel advisors for some extra information. It is usually best to book in advance as this is a popular attraction!  

 

turtle watching

 

Marine Turtle Conservation Project

Because marine turtles are an endangered species, their conservation is important in North Cyprus. In 1992 the Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT) in Northern Cyprus sent a team of volunteers to conduct surveys on the nesting beaches in the area. Since then North Cyprus has successfully managed to protect and conserve the turtle population, with three conservation groups continuing these practices on nesting beaches. Conservation's main target is to protect the vulnerable turtle eggs, mainly from predatory animals such as foxes and dogs. To do this a wire screen is used to cover the nest area. If the eggs are laid too close to the sea then sometimes the nests can also be re-located, which is a tricky manoeuvre and only done in extreme circumstances. The turtle beaches have been well guarded from any mass developments, remaining as unspoilt sights for visitors to see. There is a turtle code, too, where tourists should not touch turtles, not use bright lights and generally keep the area safe and clean whilst there.  

 

Trees and Shrubs of North Cyprus 

Pine forests North Cyprus has an abundance of beautiful pine forests full of beautiful old pine trees that tower into the clear blue skies. Standing amongst Cypress Trees, the Pines are evergreen and therefore make walking, cycling or driving through the regions perfect throughout the year. Maquis bush Maquis bushes might sound very exotic but really they are the humble green scrub that adorns the mountain and hillsides, making the general scenery of Northern Cyprus beautiful both from a distance and close up. The simple Maquis bush is vital in creating the untouched perfection that North Cyprus is able to convey, and because of the hardy nature of the shrub it is able to withstand the sun that Cyprus enjoys. Olive Tree For hundreds of years the olive tree has been a vital source of income as the fruit and subsequent oil were major exports for the Cypriot population throughout the ages. The market in modern times seems to suggest that olive oil is more popular world wide than the humble black or green olive as the oil is believed to have health properties (not to mention makes a fantastic salad dressing). 

 

Unfortunately because of housing development in the past few decades the number of olive trees in the North Cyprus is in decline, but is being protected by societies who seek to preserve the beauty and tradition of an olive tree. Carob Tree Known as black gold for the income it used to create for Cyprus for hundreds of years, Carob warehouses stand along the coasts near historic harbours as a reminder of how popular and profitable this tree used to be. Carob is a long dark pod whilst it is still on the tree and was widely used for adding into animal feed. Nowadays carob is turned into oil that is sold in health shops as well as turned into sweet dark syrup that can be used much like a caramel. And (oddly enough) carob is a very popular ingredient over here in Western Europe as the sweet flavour and nutritious qualities make carob a perfect replacement for chocolate in dog treats!  

 Wild Flowers

 

Wild Flowers 

North Cyprus is home to over twenty species of wild flowers that can't be found anywhere else on earth, and if you want to make sure you see them all, without overlooking them in the wild, take a trip to the Herbarium in Alevkaya near Kyrenia! Orchid There are over 30 different species of Orchids in North Cyprus, including bee orchids which can be found in the wild in multiple locations. If you're a serious botanist or just a flower lover, and don't want to miss a single orchid, there are tours available to show you as many species as possible including some which are highly rare and exotic. As well as the Orchids there is a great range of other wild flowers including cyclamens, Narcissi and Crocuses, each as beautiful as the last and they are scattered around the regions of North Cyprus so that if you go for a casual walk or a serious hike, cycle or drive you should see at least one as they adorn the mountains, hills and fields that surround the towns and villages. Orchid tours are the most popular but there are also general wildflower tours so that the beauty of these endemic species can truly be appreciated by all.  

 

 

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