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Location Cyprus, Limassol District,Paphos District
Central coordinates 32o 44.08' East  34o 46.36' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, B2, C1, C6
Area 7,896 ha
Altitude 70 - 1,000m
Year of IBA assessment 2012

BirdLife Cyprus

Summary This site covers the valley of Ha-Potami River plus surrounding areas and hosts a variety of vegetation communities dominated by Olive and Carob trees and shrubland, creating a landscape mosaic attractive to a rich bird community. The site is of importance to birds of the open countryside, like Rollers and Long-legged Buzzards, while also being an Endemic Bird Area site with significant populations of the endemic Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler.

Site description This new IBA is the easternmost of the four ‘valley’ IBAs carved by rivers flowing from the Troodos massif to the south-west coast. The main qualifying species are European Roller (Coracias garrulus) and Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus), while this is also an Endemic Bird Area site with both Cyprus Wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca) and Cyprus Warbler (Sylvia melanothorax) found in good numbers here. The site is also notable as an important feeding area for the Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) and also hosts a breeding pair of Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata) and 3-4 pairs of Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). Like in all four ‘valley’ sites, at Cha Potami too there is an autumn raptor passage.

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  2-4 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
European Roller Coracias garrulus breeding  2005-2011  15-50 breeding pairs  medium  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax breeding  2005-2011  1,500-2,500 breeding pairs  medium  A2, B2  Least Concern 
Cyprus Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca breeding  2005-2011  500-750 breeding pairs  medium  A2, B2  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Other urban and industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards and groves  32%
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Broadleaved evergreen woodland; Native coniferous woodland  1%
Grassland   11%
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis; Scrub  55%
Other   minor

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: Cha Potami River. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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