North Cyprus Wildlife
North Cyprus is a playground of natural beauty. Largely unaffected by the last Ice Age, which saw many species over mainland Europe die out, the island has retained a rich & diverse ecological environment, and today provides a veritable haven for wildlife. There are 26 species of reptile, more than 350 species of bird and around 1600 different types of plant inhabiting North Cyprus, not to mention over 200 species of fish in the surrounding warm sea water.
Some wildlife species are unique, being found nowhere else around the globe. These include the Cyprus Meadow Brown butterfly, which can be seen inland over the hills and mountains, and the only colony of European Audouin seagulls in the world, which nest in the Klidhes Isles, near the tip of the Karpas Peninsula to the northeast of the island.
The huge draw for tourists though are the Green Turtles that come ashore on North Cyprus's beaches between June and October. Preferring the North Cypriot coastline for its unpolluted seawater and beaches, the turtles, Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas, seek refuge in the sand to lay their eggs, generally under the cover of darkness. But it is when the eggs hatch that the fun begins! Thousands of tiny turtles race across the sand to reach the safety of the sea and rejoin their underwater community. Those that survive an arduous life below the waves will return to the same beaches in 30 years time to lay their eggs, so continuing the life cycle of these endangered species.