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The Pafos State Forest March 14, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos, Nature.
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The Pafos State Forest occupies mainly the north-western slopes of the Troodos Range and covers an area of 700k square metres and extends from the districts of Limassol and Nicosia and Pafos at sea level – to the north it reaches up to the villages of Pomos, Kato Pyrgos tis Tillyrias and the occupied village of Varisia. To the east it extends up to the villages of Gerakies, Lemythou etc and to the west up to the villages of Lysos, Kinousa, Argaka and Gialia.

Flora > The Pafos Forest is mostly a natural forest, regenerating itself and the most dominant species found all over the area is the Brutia Pine (Pinus Brutia) – the common wild pine. Smaller trees and shrubs occupy specific biotopes of the forest ecosystem.

The riverine vegetation, which can be found at all elevations includes mainly broadleaves such as the plane-tree (Platanus Orientalis) the alnus tree (Alnus Orientalis), the laurel (Laurus Nobilis) the myrtle (Myrtus Communist) and the bramble (Rubus Sanctus), giving the vegetation a unique combination of colours. In the lowland, high trees become sparse and the small shrubs as well mossy and grassy plants, make up a very rich and dense vegetation of high ecological and aesthetical value.

A special place in the Flora of Pafos Forest is held by the Cyprus cedar (Cedrus Brevifolia). It is the only endemic tree of the Cyprus forests and forms the unique natural forest of the Tipylos slopes and the world famous Cedar Valley.

14-03-08_cyprus_cedar.jpg  The Cyprus Cedar grows and forms pure and mixed strands with the wild pine at 600m up to 1,352m altitude. The presence of the Cyprus Cedar gives a distinct and unique character to the forest ecosystem.

In 1984 the Council of Ministers declared the Tripylos and the Cedar Valley area covering 823 hectares a Nature Reserve for the protection of the flora and fauna according to the provisions of the Forest Law.

The number of different plant species found in the Pafos Forest has been estimated to exceed 600. 50 of these are endemic to Cyprus. The existence of a large number of orchids such as Limodorum Abortivum, Orchis Sancta, Ophrys Levantina and Serapias Vomeracea are found only in Pafos Forest.

14-03-08_cyprus_moufflon.jpg  Fauna > The Pafos Forest was declared a Permanent Game Reserve in 1938 and since then it constitutes a perfect shelter for wildlife. The Cyprus Moufflon the largest endemic mammal of the island lives and reproduces in special biotopes of the Pafos forest. The presence of the fox, hare, hedgehog, rare and protected eagles and other birds, many species of the owl, partridge, wood-pigeon, turtle doves along with different species of snakes and lizards and rare butterflies compose a rich fauna of immense ecological value and importance for Cyprus.

Courtesy of the Pafos Forestry Department, Pafos, Cyprus.

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