Karpasia Peninsula - Kleides Islands

Year of compilation: 2012

Site description
The remote, relatively un-spoilt and picturesque Karpasia Peninsula is one of the outstanding IBAs in Cyprus, qualifying as a Mediterranean Biome Site, Endemic Bird Area site and as significant for no fewer than four species of global conservation concern. Good populations of Cyprus Warbler (Sylvia melanothorax) and Cyprus Wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca) confer Endemic Bird Area status, while similarly strong populations of Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), and Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala) confer Biome site status. The qualifying breeding species of global conservation concern are the European Roller (Coracias garrulus), for which the peninsula is the second most important site in Cyprus, and the Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii), for which the Kleides islands off the tip of the peninsula (and more recently also the islet of Lefkonisos off the peninsula’s North coast) are the only breeding sites in Cyprus. There are also two qualifying migrant species of global conservation concern, both raptors: Red footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) and Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus). The rocky Kleides islands are also the top breeding site for Mediterranean Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii) in Cyprus. The rolling hills, juniper dominated maquis and low-intensity farmland of the peninsula also provide excellent breeding habitats for Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus), Cyprus Scops Owl (Otus scops cyprius), Little Owl (Athene noctua), Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus), Chukar partridge (Alectoris chukar) and Crested lark (Galerida cristata).

Key biodiversity

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Karpasia Peninsula - Kleides Islands. Downloaded from on 29/03/2023.