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Department of Forests


Habitat Types

Habitats are terrestrial or aquatic areas distinguished by geographic, abiotic and biotic features, whether entirely natural or semi-natural.

Annex I of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) includes natural habitats of Community interest that (i) are in danger of disappearance in their natural range; or (ii) have a small natural range following their regression or by reason of their intrinsically restricted area; or (iii) present outstanding examples of typical characteristics of one or more of the six following biogeographical regions: Alpine, Atlantic, Boreal, Continental, Macaronesian and Mediterranean that are at risk. Risk involves the narrowing of their natural range or their limited distribution.

Annex I of the Directive includes natural and semi-natural habitats occurring in EU Member States for which protected areas are required to be designated, to establish the Natura 2000 network.

In Cyprus, the presence of 42 terrestrial habitats has been confirmed, of which 11 are priority habitats, e.g. habitat types that are threatened with extinction, with a natural distribution that falls mainly within the territory of the European Union.

Some of the most typical Annex I habitat types that occur in Cyprus are:
A) Mediterranean pine forests with endemic species of Mediterranean pine (habitat type 9540), represented in Cyprus by the Calabrian pine (Pinus brutia).
(B) Black pine forest (Pinus nigra subsp. Palassiana) (habitat type 9530 *).
(C) Oriental plane forests (Platanion orientalis) (habitat type 92C0)
(D) Olive and carob tree forests (habitat type 9320)
(E) Arborescent matorral with Juniperus spp. (Juniperus phoenicea) (habitat type 5210)
(F) Sarcopoterium spinosum (Cisto-Micromerietea) (habitat type 5420).

It is worth noting that Cyprus, as a new entrant, proposed nine new types of habitats. Of these, five were approved and included in Annex I as new habitats, while the others were used to amend the definitions of the existing habitats so that their description corresponds to the particularities they present in Cyprus. The five priority habitats proposed by Cyprus and included in Annex I are:
(A) Forests of Cedrus brevifolia (Cedrosetum brevifoliae) (habitat type 9530 *).
(B) Shrubs and forest stands of Quercus alnifolia (habitat type 9390 *).
(C) Forest stands of Quercus infectoria subsp. Veneris (Anagyro foetidae-Quercetum infectoriae) (habitat type 93A0).
D) Serpentine-leaved meadows of Cyprus (habitat type 62B0 *).
(E) Troodos (habitat type 6460 *).

* priority habitats

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