Name of the project area: MADARI - PAPOUTSA

Surface area (ha): 4578

EU protection status:

SPA NATURA 2000 Code: CY2000015

SCI  NATURA 2000 Code: CY2000005

Other protection status according to national or regional legislation:

Madari was designated as a Nature Reserve by the Ministerial Council Decision 51.612, on 19/04/2000 and the largest part of this Nature Reserve (1001.3 ha – 84.3%) lies within the site. The area of Madari occupies the highest parts of Adelfoi Forest, which is state-owned; the latter has been characterised as an Important Bird Area (Birdlife International) and parts of it have been designated as a Special Protection Area.

Main land uses and ownership status of the project area:

The area of Madari towards Xyliatos dam, covering 66.48% of the total area of the site, is state forest land (mainly coniferous and evergreen woodland) including limited arable land.

Scientific description of project area:

The geological substrate of the area varies and consists totally of igneous rocks, plutonic on the highest parts – mostly diabase with dykes and gabbro. The annual precipitation ranges from 600-900 mm. Snowfall usually occurs at the beginning of December and covers the highest peaks. The mean maximum temperature is 32˚C in summer and the mean minimum temperature ranges from 0-3 ˚C in winter.

The dominant landscape features of the site are the peaks of Madari (1613 m) and Papoutsa (1554 m) and Xyliatos water dam near the village of Xyliatos.

The vegetation of the site consists mainly of Pinus brutia forest (habitat type 9540 – c 57% of the site), and scrub and low forest vegetation with Quercus alnifolia (habitat type 9390*- c. 36% of the area). These two habitats occur in pure or mixed stands.

Other habitat types occurring within the site are:

  • Juniperus excelsa arborescent matorral (habitat type 5213)
  • Juniperus oxycedrus arborescent matorrals (habitat type 5211)
  • Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana forest (habitat type 9536*)
  • Cupressus sempervirens forest (habitat type 9290)
  • Riparian woodland with Alnus orientalis and Platanus orientalis (habitat type 92C0)
  • Siliceous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation (habitat type 8220)

Importance of the project area for biodiversity and/or for the conservation of the species / habitat types targeted at regional, national and EU level

The site comprises important and unique forest ecosystems which offer habitat to several important (endemic, rare and endangered) species. The site includes some of the most representative and extended pure stands of Q. alnifolia (a priority habitat type) and also one of the two P. nigra forests in Cyprus. Moreover, the matorral with J. excelsa occurs uniquely at Madari, while the site has some of the best matorral of J. oxycedrus. Forty endemic plant species and subspecies of Cyprus have been found in the area and 12 threatened species included in the Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus. Moreover, many bird species live in the area; 11 Annex I 79/409/EEC species and 5 species (3 of them endemic to Cyprus) accepted as new additions to the same Annex. There are also 43 migratory birds and 13 other important bird species. It should be noted that one of the last few pairs of Corvus corax in Cyprus nests in the site permanently. Xyliatos dam is one of the few habitats of the endemic snake Natrix natrix cypriaca (an accepted addition to Annex II 92/43/EEC as a priority species). The bat Rousettus aegyptiacus (also an accepted addition to Annex II) occurs in the site. Furthermore, 18 important vertebrates and 51 invertebrates live in the site.

This site was selected for the implementation of management and conservation measures on the habitat type 9560* Endemic Mediterranean forests with Juniperus spp. and specifically for forests of Juniperus excelsa. This is a priority habitat type that has not been included in the initial proposal of the habitat types present in MADARI - PAPOUTSA site. Despite that habitat type 9560* is not listed in the Standard Data Form (SDF), pure tree stands of Juniperus excelsa have been recently identified and roughly mapped by the Department of Forests (the competent authority for the management of all main and minor State Forests, including National Forest Parks and Forest Nature Reserves). Before the end of the project, both the Department of Environment and the Department of Forests (the competent authorities for the management of Natura 2000 Network in Cyprus) that participate in this project, take the responsibility to send the revised SDF to the European Commission.

Source of information:

1. Papachristophorou, T. (Editor) Iezekiel, S. A. and Panagiotou, Ch. 2000. “Natura 2000 standard data form for Special Protection Areas (SPA), for sites eligible for identification as Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC): MADARI – PAPOUTSA”.

2. Tsintidis, T., Christodoulou, C. S., Delipetrou, P., Georghiou K. (Eds) 2007. “The Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus”. Cyprus Forestry Association, Lefkosia.

3. Personal information.