Wildlife in Cyprus
Discover the wildlife in Cyprus and the best places to see the various creatures like moufflon, snakes and lizards. We saw the large herd of moufflon below at the Argaka dam on a recent bike trip:
For outdoor lovers of all things natural, there is plenty to see on the island although we don't have many mammals. The moufflon is the key mammal, otherwise known as the Agrino in Greek, and is the shy "sheep", unique to Cyprus. While classed as a wild sheep, the moufflon looks more like a deer (females) and the males have horns that look like an Ibex.
There are wild foxes and plenty of rabbits on the island but the most common creatures you will see when out and about are lizards of all shapes and sizes and beautiful snakes.
Many people are terrified of snakes but even the poisonous ones like the viper are not dangerous unless you act stupidly or are extremely unlucky.
In fact many species are endangered on the island, in particular the Cyprus grass snake.
The leading authority on the snake is Hans-Jorg Wiedl, otherwise known as Snake George. He used to run a reptile park near Paphos until it was forced to close and, while he has been trying to get funding and permission to open another park in the Paphos district, he has had no luck.
Many locals insist on killing any snake they see which is all down to ignorance when all Snake Geoarge is trying to do is educate the locals as to why it's important to keep snakes alive as part of the natural eco-system.
If you love wildlife, Please help to conserve the grass snake by signing Snake George's petition.
One of the best ways to try and spot the wildlife in Cyprus is to take one of the many Cyprus walks highlighted on this site (see the related pages links below). Moufflon will most readily be found in the forest areas between the Troodos mountain range and the North West near Polis and Argaka. The above moufflon picture was taken in October 2010 at the Argaka dam.
Snakes are best seen in forest areas near river-beds, although you can also see them when walking on some of the hillsides. As for lizards, well just head to the Akamas peninsula - the higher you climb, the bigger they get!
Walking in Cyprus
Walking Holidays in Cyprus
E4 Long Distance Path
Gorge Walking in Cyprus
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