Cyprus Animal Life
The most famous Cypriot wild animal is the Moufflon. Visitors can see this shy mountain sheep in a large outdoor enclosure at Stavros tis Psokas, a large forest station in the Paphos forest. Flocks of sheep and herds of goats graze in the hilly landscape. In the wine growing areas, donkeys are indispensable working animals. In the forest there are many small animals such as foxes, rabbits, hares and squirrels.
The dry summer landscape is a natural home for lizards, chameleons and snakes. Nature lovers can enjoy watching these rare creatures taking a sunbath on a hot stone or suddenly crossing their path. Lara Beach is one of the few beaches in Europe where the rare sea turtles are still able to build their nests. Sometimes turtles can be seen in the daytime, swimming near the coast in the clear waters of the Mediterranean.
Off the coast of Cyprus live about 260 different kinds of fish. The underwater reefs near the coast are also a delight for nature lovers with sponges, corals, sea anemones and mussels. The clear water of the sea is very inviting for diving and snorkeling.
Many European birds spend the winter here in Cyprus because of its mild climate. This East Mediterranean Island is a handy stopover for migrating birds on their way to Africa. Other birds come here in the spring for their breeding season and then stay on for the summer. Little surprise then that there have been around 375 different kinds of birds counted in Cyprus. Ornithologists from all over the world come to admire the rich bird life particularly in spring and autumn. There are also several species of indigenous birds in Cyprus. Birdwatchers will be amply rewarded in Cyprus. Among endemic birds are the Cyprus warbler, Cyprus pied wheatear, coal tit and scops owl. other feathered residents include chukar, crested lark, wood pigeon, kestrel, barn owl, bonelli's eagle and griffon vultures. In addition, many migratory birds stopover in Cyprus in spring and fall. By December there are coots, ringed plovers, lapwings, sea gulls and sandpipers. In the spring come glossy ibis, egrets and herons. After the late fall rains swell the salt lakes of Akrotiri and Larnaka, thousands of greater flamingoes on hiatus from their traditional homes in Africa fly in to over-winter there. Many migratory ducks arrive by December. Every month the birdlife Cyprus organizes field - meetings for bird ringing