Cyprus - Environment

Under the Town and Country Planning Law of 1972, the government has the power to issue "reservation orders" in order to protect historic buildings, trees, or other specific points. Other conservation laws seek to preserve forests, restrict the hunting of wildlife, and maintain environmental health. The most significant environmental problems in Cyprus are water pollution, erosion, and wildlife preservation. The purity of the water supply is threatened by industrial pollutants, pesticides used in agricultural areas, and the lack of adequate sewage treatment. Other water resource problems include uneven rainfall levels at different times of the year and the absence of natural reservoir catchments. Cyprus has 0.2 cu mi of water, of which 91% is used for farming activity. One hundred percent of Cyprus' urban and rural dwellers have access to safe water. Another environmental concern is erosion, especially erosion of Cyprus's coastline. In accordance with the Foreshore Protection Law, several coastal areas have been zoned to prevent undesirable development. The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has primary responsibility for environmental matters. The expansion of urban centers threatens the habitat of Cyrpus' wildlife. As of 1994, one mammal species, 17 types of birds and 43 plant species in a total of 2,000 are threatened with extinction. About 20 species of flora are protected. The Cyprus mouflon or wild sheep is protected in the Paphos Forest game reserve.

User Contributions:

I was just wondering what animals and plants were threatened with extinction? This would help me out a lot because I'm doing a project and can't find that information any were.
A group of animals not at all protected (with the possible "in the paper" exception of the cyprus grass snake) are reptiles and amphibians. The most severely threatened specíes are those most dependend of water such as frogs, water snakes and terrapins (Hyla meridionalis, Rana ridibunda, Natrix cypriaca, Mauremys caspica). The dice snake (Natrix tessellata) is apparently already extinct. A number of snakes and lizards are persecuted for superstitious reasons, such as being "dangerous" or "harming live-stock". The only poisonous adder is relentlessly killed in an old-fashioned hatred and ignorance, seemingly not appropriate for a modern, western society. Large numbers of reptiles and amphibians - together with other wildlife are also killed by the heavy traffic on cyprus roads. A welth of information on cyprus wildlife problems is avaliable in the recently released book: The Reptiles and amphibians of cyprus (Baier; Sparrow; Wiedl). / Torbjörn Peterson

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