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What Will Become Of The Owls Now That The Trees Are Gone?

29/07/2014 - by Eleni P Hoplaros
There are various ways to describe what pruning means.

Some definitions include to “trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to encourage growth” or to “cut away (a branch or stem) from a tree, shrub, etc”.

So one has to wonder when pruning otherwise translated to the complete hacking away at the trunks of a tree causing colossal ruin.

You see, the forestry department recently gave permission for the eucalyptus trees at the Armenian Cemetery in Nicosia, near the Ledra Palace crossing, to be pruned.  The same department however did not have enough staff to inspect the site before granting the go-ahead.

The result. The cutting down of eucalyptus trees more than 50 meters tall.  Trees that were the home to many owls and their young, including the rare long-eared baby owls.

According to the European Birds Directive, it is illegal to cut down trees during breeding seasons if there are nests in them with eggs or young birds.

Understandably, fears have now been raised as to what fate awaits these owls which were nesting in the branches of the trees.

So it therefore needs to be asked.  From the damage caused to the turtle nests at Lara Bay to the near destruction of the eucalyptus trees in Nicosia, to what extent is nature conservation being given the attention it deserves in Cyprus?  

Source/Full article here: Cyprus Mail

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  • 09/07/2014 - by Eleni P Hoplaros

    It has been reported that the Green Party is opposed to the operation of the bar because the lights and noise pollution coming from it will have a detrimental effect on the turtles.   

    Marine biologist Myroulla Hadjichristoforou, formerly of the Fisheries Department who has been actively involved in the Sea Turtles Protection Programme for 30 years, has also said that “turtles are shy animals and if they see shadows or hear noises, they go back into the sea.”  If this happens continuously over consecutive nights, the turtles then lay their eggs in the sea which is devastating as the eggs are killed by sea water.

    The Cyprus Mail reports that “the manager of the bar, which has been up and running for a few weeks, disagrees with the Green Party that the eggs are in danger. We are very careful with the nests and we make sure no-one disturbs them. We have spoken to the Fisheries Department officer who comes to check them. The bar is not on the beach, it’s higher up. The only things we have on the beach are umbrellas and sun beds,” he said.”

    Community leader of Neo Chorio, Andreas Christodoulou has reportedly also said “We at the village are very sensitive to environmental matters, we decided that the bar’s existence was not harming the beach or the environment in any way .He said they gave permission to the bar to have umbrellas and sun beds on the beach because it has been approved by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.”

    Being that lights on beaches can attract and confuse turtle hatchlings, causing them to go the wrong way when they head out to sea, one has to wonder whose argument holds more weight.  And until this has been decided, one can only hope the turtles continue to thrive and their population grow.

    Source: Cyprus Mail

    What's Going To Happen To Our Turtles?

  • 06/07/2014 - by Eleni P Hoplaros

    They have made their third annual public appeal to help record jellyfish sightings and monitor their populations which seem to be fluctuating.

    This public appeal is part of the “Jelly Watch” project which is being undertaken across 22 countries.

    According to the Financial Mirror, “the project aims to record the species of jellyfish that can be found in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and their populations which have shown an increasing trend in their frequency in recent decades. Up until last year, only ten countries participated in the project and the monitoring of Jellyfish covered only the Mediterranean Sea. This year, the project was extended to the Black Sea and the number of countries participating in this effort doubled that shows growing interest in these organisms that affect important fisheries, aquaculture and tourism, as well as the health of citizens.

    The Financial Mirror further reports that “the UCy Oceanography Centre has undertaken a difficult task, since Cyprus has 648km of shoreline and a total area of 130,766 km2 of sea surface under Cyprus jurisdiction. It wants people to send a photograph, if available, and other data (position, abundance, density, interaction) to the Oceanography Center email at jellywatch@ucy.ac.cy

    For further information, the Oceanography Centre has created various webpages where one can learn more about jellyfish and its varied species. These are them:


    Source: Financial Mirror

    The Oceanography Centre of the University of Cyprus Needs Help To Monitor Jellyfish Sightings!

  • 11/02/2014 - by Melissa South

    Head a little further up the age-range, and you'll find those who seek generic sun-drenched villas that could be anywhere - Greece, Italy, Spain.  Both of these miss out on what really makes Cyprus Cypriot - the rural culture around Pafos and Lemesos that has followed the same rhythms for millennia.  No longer, though, are these areas with their gorgeous, picturesque traditions an afterthought, a hasty day-trip on which to nurse a hangover - for some tourists, they're becoming the beginning and end to a trip to Aphrodite's Island.

    A New Kind Of Tourism

    There's a name for when you try to embed yourself in the rural lifestyle and traditions of a particular country: agrotourism.  If you've come from a busy city, it makes perfect sense as a way to unwind and relocate yourself - why swap a jammed-out and sweating underground carriage for the same thing but with the added ear-splitting bass in Ayia Napa, or a generic office block for a generic villa? Instead, get yourself an apartment in a converted stables among in the pine trees in the hills above Lemesos, where the sweltering summer heat drops lower into the kinder twenties, and spend your days wandering from vineyard to village, as true Cypriot life meanders around you. Aware of the growing popularity to tourists of their rural idyll, the Cyprus Agrotourism Company can provide you with specific details about events and local festivals taking place in the villages - but wouldn't it be just as fun, and more in keeping with the spirit of the place, to just see what you happen to stumble across?

    Investing In The Past For The Future

    The one thing that might, if you're of the more pampered persuasion, fill you with dread about all of this, is the prospect of what your actual living quarters in that Cypriot village will look like. Spartan at best, right? At worst - a donkey in the next stall, air-conditioning provided by a fan emitting clouds of dust and not much else, so little security for your valuables you might as well arrange them display-style. Perhaps once, but no longer. In the past twenty years of so, an initiative spearheaded by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation has brought about a program of restoration to traditional rural buildings to make them inhabitable, and beyond. Take, for example the now-famous Casale Panayiotis, a hotel-spa hybrid built in the shadow of the St John Lapadistis monastery, that houses eager agrotourists in 28 separate traditional village houses. It's luxury, but in its own, authentic, unique way.

    Off The Beaten Track

    Of course, deep down most people know that while some tranquillity is bliss, a lot is too much of a good thing - but don't imagine that just because you're away from the fleshpots and sunspots of the coast that all chance of excitement is gone.  Mountain biking, for example, is hugely popular in the Cypriot countryside, and you can do a number of guided tours through the Akamas and Troodos regions, taking in beaches, coastlines and all the randomly-scattered archaeology that a small country with 3000 years of history can throw at you.  But if you'd prefer to stay at a more leisurely pace, simply rent a bike and spend the time winding along the roads connecting the villages, exploring what you wish to explore.

    The Necessary Facts

    Lastly, a little pre-emptive housekeeping.  Any resident of the EU can stay in Cyprus for up to 90 days with only a passport, and this is the case for many non-European countries, although visas are country-dependent. You can bring pets in too with only an up-to-date pet passport, which is a boon - after all, why you should you be the only one roaming free in the rural idyll? At present the only accepted currency in Cyprus is the Euro, although the Cyprus Tourism Organisation has sought to make money-changing facilities available to holidaymakers through their tourism-focused developments, should you get caught short.  Otherwise, unfortunately you might have to briefly venture back to humanity - but fear not, a glass of wine and the muted sounds of village life will be waiting for you when you get back.

    A New Way To See Cyprus

  • 18/01/2014 - by Eleni P Hoplaros

    As CyHerbia explains, each plant has a purpose, to benefit humans and animals in many ways. In fact, so many are the benefits of herbs to our body, that man has been studying herbs for thousands of years and volumes of books have been written about them.

    Around 80% of the earth’s population use herbs as medicine for various health problems. Herbal medicine forms the foundation of every traditional medical method around the world. Even now, pharmaceutical companies are always researching medical properties of herbs, and they are extensively used in modern medicine. Studies have indicated that generally they have fewer side effects and many are as effective as chemical medicine. (source: World Health Organization)

    In the Mediterranean in ancient times herbs were used both as food and as medicine.

    2500 years ago, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, wrote: If people ate correctly and ate well there would not be any illnesses!  In effect, he said that prevention is better than cure. He knew that the appropriate diet could not only prevent but also cure certain diseases. Science has changed since then, but this statement has always been true even until today. The diet Hippocrates wrote about is now known as the Mediterranean diet.

    Cyprus has a rich tradition of herbal medicine, first and foremost as prevention, and also as cure. Until the last century, heart diseases and cancer were almost unknown on the island.

    In the first century AD, Pliny the Elder, the famous Roman historian and scientist, wrote: ‘The herbs of Cyprus are the best of the Roman Empire.’ The climate and soil conditions here are ideal for herbs to grow and to have the highest yield of essential oils.
    When you use herbs in your every day diet, as tea or in cooking, you’re much less likely to get ill, and your food tastes so much better too!

    Winter’s arrived and many are suffering with a cold. Why not start drinking herbal tea now?  Herbs augment the body’s own defenses, nipping that nasty cold in the bud –without medicine. Some of the most effective herbs to combat a cold are thyme, sage and elderflower. All these herbs grow in abundance on the island. They are antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial and strengthen the immune system.

    When a cold has settled in the throat, or even in the bronchae, there are many herbal remedies to clear out phlegm, bring relief from cough and sore throat and combat viral or bacterial infection. Licorice root forms the basis of most cough medicines even today, it’s wonderfully soothing. Sage and thyme are great expectorant herbs, plus they combat viral and bacterial infections. If you’ve ever been to the mountain villages in the winter, you’ll see all the old boys drinking sage tea all day in the kafenia. Sage protects them from colds, strengthens the blood and keeps them warm. It is also called the herb of longevity. For blocked sinuses and stuffy noses we can take elderflower or chamomile, or even blend the 2 together, to really clear out these blockages and get rid of all that mucus.

    For further information, visit www.cyherbia.com

    CyHerbia Organic Herb Garden & Maze

  • 18/01/2014 - by Eleni P Hoplaros

    Things To Do In Troodos

    There are 9 picnic sites within the park area which provide the facilities that one may need such as tables, toilets, drinking water, and so forth; and there are also 3 camping sites, 2 of which are very basic and therefore only suitable for short stays.  These are located at Kampi tou Kalogyrou and Platania.  The third site which can be used for longer stays lies about 500m east of Troodos square.

    There are also 10 renowned nature paths whose overall length measures at 57.6km and which are well looked after and signposted.  Accessibility by wheelchair has been made available for one of those paths.

    Things to see in Troodos

    In terms of geology, the Troodos Forest area has been of significant interest to the international scientific community because of the different types of rocks that can be found there.  They belong to the ophiolithic complex which is one of the most developed internationally and this is why they are being studied. There are many rocks found in the Park including serpentine, dunite, wehrlite, and volcanic rocks, amongst others. 

    There is an abundance of flora recorded in the Park as well.  Of the almost 750 individual species, 72 are native to Cyprus, 12 of which are exclusive to the Park.  The Park also serves as the main habitat in Cyprus for a variety of hardy plant species like the wild service tree, barberry, etc.

    With regards to fauna, the Park is also home to rare and protected animal life such as the Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), Raven (Corvus corax), Bonelli’s Eagle, to name a few.

    As for the hydrology of the Park, much of the drinking water supplied to many of the villages surrounding Troodos Park stem from approximately 50 springs in the forest feeding off Kouris, Kryos Potamos, Karkotis and Marathasa river.

    Troodos National Forest Park


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  • Akrounta Dam

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    just a heads-up that Akrounta dam is the same with Germasoyia dam
  • Germasogeia Dam

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    You have to choose the time of year when you visit the dam (and the nature trail behind it). In sumemr it is dry-as all of Cyprus- an dmostly empty, but in late wintera nd spring, especially if the winter has been good and rainy, it is all green and full of beautiful flowers. It is one of my fav. spots to visit in Limassol
  • Caledonian Falls

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    Mother Nature again showing off.The falls are not very high, only about 10 metres or so but they are impressive and the walk to them is nice.One word of advice - walk up from Platres, not down from Trrodos, becase when you leave you go downhill back to Platres instead of uphill to Troodos

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