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Location Cyprus, Larnaca District,Nicosia District
Central coordinates 33o 13.18' East  34o 56.09' North
IBA criteria A2, B2, B3, C6
Area 10,402 ha
Altitude 400 - 1,423m
Year of IBA assessment 2012

BirdLife Cyprus

Summary A mountain site on the Eastern end of the Troodos range, dominated by pine forest, scrub and rocky areas with golden oak shrubland on its highest peaks. The site is of importance for many breeding forest birds including the Cyprus Coal Tit and the Masked Shrike. It is an Endemic Bird Area site, with significant populations of the endemic Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler.

Site description This is an extensive upland site on the Eastern end of the Troodos range, with varied landscapesand elevation ranging from just below 400m toover 1,400m at Tzionia peak. This site hosts important breeding populations of characteristic species of the open pine Troodos range forests, in particular European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus), Cyprus Coal Tit (Parus ater cypriotes) and Cretzschmar’s Bunting (Emberiza caesia). The site
also has large enough breeding populations of the two endemics, Cyprus Wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca) and Cyprus Warbler (Sylvia melanothorax), to qualify as an Endemic Bird Area. Significant numbers of Cyprus Scops Owls (Otus scops cyprius) and Black-headed Buntings (Emberiza melanocephala) complete the picture of qualifying species at this rich site, which also hosts the endemic sub-species Cyprus Short-toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla dorothea) (though not common) and Cyprus Jay (Garrulus glandarius glaszneri). This area is also among the few in Cyprus to have breeding Goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) and Blackbirds (Turdus merula).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Scops-owl Otus scops breeding  2005-2011  200-500 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus breeding  2005-2011  50-150 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus breeding  2005-2011  300-1,200 breeding pairs  medium  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Coal Tit Parus ater breeding  2005-2011  2,000-6,000 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax breeding  2005-2011  2,000-3,000 breeding pairs  medium  A2, B2  Least Concern 
Cyprus Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca breeding  2005-2011  1,000-1,500 breeding pairs  medium  A2, B2  Least Concern 
Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala breeding  2005-2011  800-1,200 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia breeding  2005-2011  400-900 breeding pairs  medium  B3, C6  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Native coniferous woodland  72%
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis; Scrub  18%
Grassland   3%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Other urban and industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards and groves  7%

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: Mahairas Forest - Tzionia. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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