Database release:

For Special Protection Areas (SPA),
Proposed Sites for Community Importance (pSCI),
Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and
for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)



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1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name


1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:Costas HadjipanayiotouDirectorDepartment of Environment

1.7 Site indication and designation / classification dates

Date site classified as SPA:2009-12
National legal reference of SPA designation No information provided
Date site proposed as SCI:2004-05
Date site confirmed as SCI:2008-03
Date site designated as SAC:2021-07
National legal reference of SAC designation:ΚΔΠ 338/21


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km] (optional):


2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name
CY00Kypros / Kıbrıs

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Mediterranean (100.00 %)


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3.1 Habitat types present on the site and assessment for them

Annex I Habitat types Site assessment
Code PF NP Cover [ha] Cave [number] Data quality A|B|C|D A|B|C
      RepresentativityRelative SurfaceConservationGlobal
1520  info  X     0.31  0.00 
5220  info  X     1.287  0.00 
5420  info      41.25  0.00 
6220  info  X     1.966  0.00 
  • PF: for the habitat types that can have a non-priority as well as a priority form (6210, 7130, 9430) enter "X" in the column PF to indicate the priority form.
  • NP: in case that a habitat type no longer exists in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Cover: decimal values can be entered
  • Caves: for habitat types 8310, 8330 (caves) enter the number of caves if estimated surface is not available.
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation)

3.2 Species referred to in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and listed in Annex II of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them

Species Population in the site Site assessment
G Code Scientific Name S NP T Size Unit Cat. D.qual. A|B|C|D A|B|C
      MinMax  Pop.Con.Iso.Glo.
BA247Alauda arvensis           
BA257Anthus pratensis           
BA259Anthus spinoletta           
BA256Anthus trivialis           
BA226Apus apus           
BA226Apus apus           
BA253Delichon urbica           
BA253Delichon urbica           
BA382Emberiza melanocephala           
BA382Emberiza melanocephala           
BA269Erithacus rubecula           
BA097Falco vespertinus           
BA359Fringilla coelebs           
BA438Hippolais pallida           
BA438Hippolais pallida           
BA252Hirundo daurica           
BA252Hirundo daurica           
BA341Lanius senator           
BA230Merops apiaster           
BA383Miliaria calandra                       
BA281Monticola solitarius           
BA262Motacilla alba           
BA262Motacilla alba           
BA260Motacilla flava           
BA319Muscicapa striata           
BA278Oenanthe hispanica           
BA435Oenanthe isabellina           
BA277Oenanthe oenanthe           
BA273Phoenicurus ochruros           
BA315Phylloscopus collybita           
BA314Phylloscopus sibilatrix           
BA316Phylloscopus trochilus           
BA275Saxicola rubetra           
BA276Saxicola torquata           
BA210Streptopelia turtur           
BA311Sylvia atricapilla           
BA309Sylvia communis           
BA283Turdus merula           
BA285Turdus philomelos           
BA232Upupa epops           
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, I = Invertebrates, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Type: p = permanent, r = reproducing, c = concentration, w = wintering (for plant and non-migratory species use permanent)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the Standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting (see reference portal)
  • Abundance categories (Cat.): C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present - to fill if data are deficient (DD) or in addition to population size information
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation); VP = 'Very poor' (use this category only, if not even a rough estimation of the population size can be made, in this case the fields for population size can remain empty, but the field "Abundance categories" has to be filled in)

3.3 Other important species of flora and fauna (optional)


Population in the site


Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
1274Chalcides ocellatus                 
1280Coluber jugularis                 
1228Cyrtopodion kotschyi                 
Hemidactylus turcicus                 
2441Mabuya vittata                 
2466Malpolon monspessulanus                 
2010Vipera lebetina                 
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, Fu = Fungi, I = Invertebrates, L = Lichens, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • CODE: for Birds, Annex IV and V species the code as provided in the reference portal should be used in addition to the scientific name
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting, (see reference portal)
  • Cat.: Abundance categories: C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present
  • Motivation categories: IV, V: Annex Species (Habitats Directive), A: National Red List data; B: Endemics; C: International Conventions; D: other reasons


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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

The site of the National Forest Park of Rizoelia covers an area of 90.7 hectares, which is the greatest part (91.52%) of the area declared as National Forest Park. The forestland excluded from the site consists of about 6.5 hectares which is under a lease for the following 99 years for the construction of a football field to fulfil the needs of the nearby population; also, an area of 0.6 hectares has been offered by the Forestry Department for the creation of a police station. The site is located 3 kilometres South-East of the centre of Aradipou village and 7 kilometres North-East of Larnaka city. The boundaries of the site follow more or less the delimitation line of the National Forest Park.The climate of the area is typically Mediterranean the mean annual rainfall is around 345 mm. The dry period is between June and September. The maximum precipitation (82%) is mainly between November and March. The coolest months are January and February with mean minimum daily temperature 7.5 °C and maximum 16.5 °C. The mean maximum temperature during these months is 19.5 °C and the mean minimum 3 °C. The warmest months are July and August with mean maximum daily temperature 33 °C and mean minimum daily temperature is 22 °C. The mean minimum monthly temperature is 19 °C and the mean maximum monthly temperature is 37 °C. Geology. The area is mainly Gypsum alternating with chalky marls and marly chalks. Soils. The soils of the area are the following: Cypsiric Lithic Leptosols, Cypsiric Antropic Regosols, Calcanic Leptic Regosols. Most of the site is covered by plantations of Pinus brutia, Cupressus sempervirens, Pinus pinea, Acacia saligna etc. and there are small patches of natural habitats. Also, at some places where the forestation seems to be rather unsuccessful the planted trees have started to dry up and give space to phrygana (5420).Phrygana (5420) is the dominant natural vegetation and consists mainly of Thymus capitatus, Phagnalon rupestre, Asphodelus aestivus, Allium cupani, Stipa barbata, Atractylis canselata, Onobrychis venosa, Helianthemum obtusifolium, Asparagus stipularis, Echium angustifolium, Carlina involucrata and very scattered individuals of Ziziphus lotus. This vegetation is probably a remnant of old Ziziphus lotus scrub and is apparently devoid of gypsophilous vegetation. Patches of annuals and grasses (habitat type 6220) develop among the phrygana. Within this area there are recent plantations of Acacia saligna, Pistacia lentiscus, Schinus terrebintifolius, Cupressus sempervirence, Pinus pinea etc.The north-east part of the site is also dominated by similar phrygana (5420) in mosaics with grasslands (6220). At disturbed sites there appear abundant Salsola kali plants.Gypsophilous vegetation (habitat type 1520) develops in scattered patches all over most of the site, especially at open places not heavily disturbed by plantations of alien to this habitat species and also at road margins. The characteristic species are the more widespread Herniaria hemistemon and Onobrychis venosa and the rare Gypsophyla linearifolia while Helianthemum stipulatum, Thymus capitatus and herbs such as Allium lefkarense, Allium cupani, Allium spp. And annual grasses participate. It seems that these communities are in fact remnants of a natural vegetation that has today been degraded due to loss of habitat and intrusion of other species (phryganic, nitrophilous, weeds) caused by human impact. Mapping of this habitat is only indicative; the substrate and ecological conditions indicate that it might be more widespread in the site but this could not be confirmed due to technical reasons.At the southern part there is quite representative matorral with Ziziphus lotus (5220). The main plants of these communities are Asparagus stipularis, Noaea mucronata, Thymus capitatus, Salvia lanigera, Hyparrhenia hirta, Onobrychis venosa. The matorral alternates with phrygana (5420).

4.2 Quality and importance

The main element of the quality and importance of the site of Rizoelia is the fact that it maintains adequately representative patches of gypsophilous communities (a priority Annex I habitat). Such communities can be regarded as rare in Cyprus, occurring only on the gypsum formations of central Cyprus and of the northern range (Pentadaktylos). In central Cyprus most of the gypsum formations have been forested and the gypsophilous communities have diminished and are close to extinction. The designation of the site as a National Forest Park is expected to assist the conservation of this habitat.Though the natural habitats of the site have suffered intense interventions, it offers a habitat to 31 important fauna species and to a total of 181 native plant taxa, 11 of them endemic. Other Important Species with Motivation DGypsophila lineariifolia is a gypsophilous species of Irano-Turanian distribution and Cyprus is its southewestern distribution margin. Herniaria hemistemon is a characteristic component of the gypsophilous syn-association Chenole arabica, of Saharo-Arabian distribution, and Cyprus is its northernmost distribution margin. Both these species are new records for Cyprus. They are local and rare in Cyprus, restricted on gypsum substrates and can be considered threatened by habitat loss due to reforestations of gypsum areas.Lycaena thersamon is a threatened taxon according to Heath (1981). Empusa fasciata is an important (Koomen & van Helsdinger, 1996) and threatened taxon listed on the European Red List of Globally Threatened Animals and Plants. Libelloides macaronius is an important (Koomen & van Helsdinger, 1996) and threatened taxon listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals (1988) and on the European Red List of Globally Threatened Animals and Plants. Sphodromantis viridis, Acmaeodera quadrizonata are in Cyprus at the margins of their area of distribution. Zizeeria karsandra is a threatened taxon according to Heath (1981) which in Cyprus is at the margins of its area of distribution.Notes: The snake Macrovipera lebetina lebetina is included in section 3.3 as Vipera lebetina.

4.3 Threats, pressures and activities with impacts on the site

The most important impacts and activities with high effect on the site

Negative Impacts
RankThreats and pressures [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]

Rank: H = high, M = medium, L = low
Pollution: N = Nitrogen input, P = Phosphor/Phosphate input, A = Acid input/acidification,
T = toxic inorganic chemicals, O = toxic organic chemicals, X = Mixed pollutions
i = inside, o = outside, b = both

4.4 Ownership (optional)

No information provided

4.5 Documentation (optional)


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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level (optional):

Code Cover [%]

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites (optional):

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]

5.3 Site designation (optional)

No information provided


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6.1 Body(ies) responsible for the site management:

Organisation:Department of Forests
Organisation:Department of Environment

6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

Yes Name: Χλύκας και Συνεργάτες. 2011. Διαχειριστικό Σχέδιο Εθνικού Δασικού Πάρκου Ριζοελιάς CY6000006 και των Δασών Άλωνας και Μελισσιών. NERCO – Ν. ΧΛΥΚΑΣ & ΣΥΝΕΡΓΑΤΕΣ ΑΕΜ Αθήνα και I.A.CO Environmental and Water Consultants Ltd, Λευκωσία.

No, but in preparation

6.3 Conservation measures (optional)

Within the framework of the LIFE-RIZOELIA project (LIFE12 NAT/CY/758), the following conservation measures were taken: 1) Protection of habitat type 1520 from trampling and off-road driving through soft-fencing 2) Control of Acacia saligna using targeted chemical control methods 3) Restoration and enhancement of habitat type 1520 4) Restoration and re-creation of habitat type 5220 5) Clearings of dry vegetation to reduce fire risk



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