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WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE KARPAS? WHY DOES IT NEED PROTECTION?
With a total length of 27 kilometres and covering approximately 2000 hectares of Land, there are many reasons to stand against the urbanisation of the area including erecting power lines and recently, building a motorway through the park itself. Here are a few:
1. Out of 1410 plant species identified so far in Northern Cyprus, 3/4 are located in the Karpas peninsula and 1/2 is located in the Karpas National Park.
2. 24 of 47 endemic plant that is endemic to Cyprus is in the national park area.
3. 166 out of 238 protected animal species in Northern Cyprus are currently located in a 94.9 square kilometer area within the protected National Park.
4. Similarly, 2 out of 5 protected mammals, 12 out of 16 reptile species, and 147 out of 215 birds still inhabit the area within the national park.
5. 100 types of rare plant species found in Cyprus, are located in this area.
6. This is the entire Mediterranean region, estimated to be 400 or 500, the Mediterranean Fok’ları (Monk Seal) is the most important coastal areas.
6. This coastal region is of significant importance to the Mediterranean Monk Seal, which is estimated to have a population of 400 – 500 left within the Mediterranean area.
7. Similarly, the 3rd largest nesting site for the endangered Green Turtle’s – The Ronnas Gulf, is within the National Park boundaries.
8. Karpaz National Park is home to 300 kinds of plants, 200 species of birds, 100 species of fish, 8 types of marine mammals, 13 kinds of mammals and 21 kinds of flying reptiles.
9. The islands off the tip of Karpas are important breeding grounds for the endangered ‘Island Seagull’ and other endangered birds.
10. Karpaz National Park, with Akama and salt lakes is one of the most important among four ecological areas within the whole island of Cyprus.
11. There are 15 active water springs, out of 50 total, that are of vital importance to the park.
12. 20 historical monuments, 5 archeological sites and 3 stone quarries belonging to the Antique period are located in the park.
13. It is home to Kastros, where historically first human settlement in Cyprus was recorded.