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Location Cyprus, Paphos District
Central coordinates 32o 41.34' East  34o 47.88' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, B2, B3, C1, C6
Area 8,804 ha
Altitude 50 - 770m
Year of IBA assessment 2012

BirdLife Cyprus

Summary This site follows the open valley of the Diarizos River from near the river's source in Pafos forest to just before it spills into Pafos plain. This is a relatively remote and undeveloped area with a mixture of shrubland, pine woods and complex, low-intensity agricultural and grazing areas. It is an Endemic Bird Area with significant populations of the endemics, especially of the Cyprus Warbler, and it is of importance to birds of the open countryside like Rollers and Long-legged Buzzards.

Site description This is a relatively remote and undeveloped site in one of the four ‘valley’ IBAs carved by rivers flowing from the Troodos massif to the southwest coast. The Diarizos riverside extends from near the river’s source in the Pafos forest to just before it spills into the Pafos plain, ranging in elevation from 800m to 50m. Diarizos Valley is an Endemic Bird Area site with good populations of Cyprus Wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca) and especially of Cyprus Warbler (Sylvia melanothorax). It is also a top breeding site for European Roller (Coracias garrulus) and Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus). Also of note are the local populations of Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus), Little Owl (Athene noctua) and Cretzschmar’s Bunting (Emberiza caesia). The valley also witnesses a passage of raptors in the autumn. Finally, mention should be made of this site being an important feeding area for the Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) that also hosts breeding Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus breeding  2005-2011  50-249 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus breeding  2005-2011  5-7 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Little Owl Athene noctua breeding  2005-2011  150-250 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
European Roller Coracias garrulus breeding  2005-2011  20-80 breeding pairs  medium  A1, B2, C1, C6  Near Threatened 
Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax breeding  2005-2011  2,000-4,000 breeding pairs  medium  A2, B3, C6  Least Concern 
Cyprus Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca breeding  2005-2011  1,000-1,500 breeding pairs  medium  A2, B2  Least Concern 
Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia breeding  2005-2011  300-700 breeding pairs  medium  B3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed not assessed
Poor - based on little, or potentially unreliable/unrepresentative, data

Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
GKREMOI CHANOUTARI CY4000007 Birds Directive 2,472 protected area overlaps with site 291  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Other   3%
Coastline Sand dunes & beaches  3%
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Broadleaved evergreen woodland; Native coniferous woodland  5%
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis; Scrub  45%
Grassland Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  6%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Other urban and industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards and groves  40%

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 (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Diarizos Valley. Downloaded from on 09/10/2015

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