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Location Cyprus, Famagusta District,Kyrenia District,Nicosia District
Central coordinates 33o 32.00' East  35o 19.48' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, B2, B3, C1, C2, C6
Area 26,376 ha
Altitude 50 - 1,024m
Year of IBA assessment 2012

BirdLife Cyprus

Summary This is one of the richest, in terms of qualifying species, and most distinctive IBAs in Cyprus, encompassing most of the Pentadaktylos range, which stretches along the north coast of the island. With the exception of the Cyprus Scops Owl (Otus scops cyprius), this range, rising to a relatively modest height of just over 1,000m, does not host the endemic forest sub-species of the Troodos. It is, however, both a Mediterranean Biome site and an Endemic Bird Area site. Here, numbers of breeding Cyprus Warbler (Sylvia melanothorax) are as high as anywhere, while Cyprus Wheatears (Oenanthe cypriaca) are more numerous only in the vast ‘Pafos Forest’ IBA. Mediterranean Scrub Biome status is achieved thanks to the populations of the two endemics plus those of Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata), Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala), Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus) and Cretzschmar’s Bunting (Emberiza caesia) (the last two qualifying species in their own right for the site). The site is also a top breeding site for the Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata) and Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). It is also the top breeding site in Cyprus for both the Little Owl (Athene noctua) and the Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) and a key site for European Roller (Coracias garrulus). Finally, it is the most important remaining breeding site for the Raven (Corvus corax) in Cyprus as well as the key site for breeding Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Chukar Alectoris chukar breeding  2005-2011  2,000-8,000 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
Falco peregrinus breeding  2005-2011  5-7 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Bonelli's Eagle Aquila fasciata breeding  2005-2011  10-12 breeding pairs  good  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Scops-owl Otus scops breeding  2005-2011  300-700 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
Little Owl Athene noctua breeding  2005-2011  400-700 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
European Roller Coracias garrulus breeding  2005-2011  20-80 breeding pairs  medium  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus breeding  2005-2011  400-1,200 breeding pairs  medium  A3, B2, C6  Least Concern 
Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata breeding  2005-2011  1,000-2,000 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala breeding  2005-2011  1,000-4,000 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax breeding  2005-2011  10,000-15,000 breeding pairs  medium  A2, A3, B3, C6  Least Concern 
Cyprus Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca breeding  2005-2011  2,500-5,000 breeding pairs  medium  A2, A3, B3, C6  Least Concern 
Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala breeding  2005-2011  200-300 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia breeding  2005-2011  500-1,000 breeding pairs  medium  A3, B3, C6  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland  40%
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis; Scrub  50%
Grassland   minor
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Other urban and industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards and groves  9%
Other   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry 10%
agriculture 5%
tourism/recreation 5%
not utilised 80%

References Hellicar, M.A., Anastasi, V., Beton, D. & Snape, R. (2014). Important Bird Areas of Cyprus. BirdLife Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Pentadaktylos Mountains. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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