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Flora and Wildlife of Northern Cyprus

The nature of Northern Cyprus wakes up in November: fields adopt green as their colour and the whole of the island becomes covered with flowers as soon as the first raindrops fall: anemones, cyclamens, narcissus, hyacinths iris or wild orchids, all flower in turn, followed by blossoms of almond trees. April and may enjoy the full glory of a golden sun: mimosa, hibiscus and jasmine, and finally bougainvillea and roses appear in the summer.

Amateur botanists will derive much pleasure and satisfaction from the National Park of Alavkayasi, Northern Cyprus. There are more than 1,800 varieties of plants and flowers in Northern Cyprus, hundred of which do not exist anywhere else in the world.

Covered with forests 2,000 years ago, Cyprus is still very woody in the mountains. Here eagles, falcons, vautours, buzzards and the renowned Cypriot mufflon, a rare and protected species, find shelter. Cyprus is a homeland for partridges, sandpipers, ibises and geese too. Covered with flowers throughout the year, Northern Cyprus is a benediction for all nature lovers.

With an average of only 51 people per square kilometre, Northern Cyprus holds the enviable reputation of being relatively free of pollution, industry or high concentrations of population. And with 387 km of coastline and pine, cypress and maquis covered hillsides; Northern Cyprus is something of a haven for wildlife. Northern Cyprus plays host to over 1,600 plant species of which 22 are endemic, 350 species of birds, of which 7 are endemic, and 26 different species of reptile and amphibian. The two main reasons for this amazing diversity are, firstly, that Cyprus was not affected by the last ice-age (which wiped out many species from areas further north), and secondly, that Cyprus forms a resting, and nesting station for birds migrating between Africa and Eastern Europe.

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