The Alagadi SEPA is situated on the north coast of Cyprus approximately 18 km east of Girne. The total area covered by this SEPA amounts to 507 hectares. The western border is situated just west of Alagadi village down the line of Longitude 33.4578 and its eastern border falls approximately along a line 0.5 km just east of the Alagadi (Alakati) dry river bed (Longitude 33.5051). Its southerly border lies just north of the Alagadi Reservoir in an almost straight line (Latitude 35.3202).
The land ownership within the SEPA is divided between individual private and public ownership.
The Alagadi SEPA first received official legal protection as an important natural resource for the northern part of Cyprus and was declared an ecologically important area 21/97 article 11 paragraph 1.
This site has primarily been selected because of its importance, as both a nationally and internationally important sea turtle rookery. It is of importance due to the numbers of nesting green (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtles. In addition to the presence of nesting turtles there are also some important coastal habitats.
The climatic conditions at Alagadi are typically Mediterranean, consisting of hot dry summers and cool wet winters. Average daily summer temperatures are typically between 25-30°C, with winter daily average temperatures around 10 -15°C. Rainfall occurs primarily between the months of November – March. The Alagadi SEPA is bordered to the south by the narrow ridge of the Kyrenia range which receives approximately 550 mm of rainfall along its ridge, at a maximum elevation of 1,000 meters. Analysis of rainfall in Cyprus reveals a decreasing trend over the past 30 years (Tsiourtic, 2002).
There are four major geological zones in Cyprus, this site falls in the zone known as the Kyrenia Terrane. Within the SEPA there are three differing formation types: Kythrea, Alluvium-Colluvium and Terrace deposits. The Kythrea formation, is from the Neogene period. The Alluvium-Colluvium formations and Terrace deposits were created during the Quaternary period.
Kythrea consists of greywacke (type of sandstone), marls, sandstone, siltstones and basal congromelate. The Alluvium-Colluvium formations consist of sands, silts, clays and gravels. The Terrace deposits consist of Calcarenites, sands and gravels (Constantinou 1995).
There are three seasonal stream beds which run through the Alagadi SEPA in a northerly direction with their sources starting in the Kyrenia range. For most of the year these remain dry and only run after heavy rains. There are no permanent stands of water within the Alagadi SEPA. However, just south of the SEPA there is the Alagadi reservoir which is the only permanent stand of water in the immediate vicinity.
The vegetation structure of the site is of typically coastal Mediterranean nature, with a sandy shoreline punctuated with rocky outcrops. Much of the site has been altered as a result of agricultural or forestry practices. However, there are some natural areas which still persist, such as maquis and dune systems. Some of the dune areas have been damaged or degraded, through either sand removal, trampling or road construction. Some of these areas are in need of rehabilitation or protecting to prevent further damaged or degradation. There have been seven habitats identified; of which two are priority habitat types for conservation under the Habitats Directive (Dir 92/43/EEC). It is important to note however this is not an exhaustive list of the site as due to the timing of the surveys some plants will have been omitted. We hope to rectify this over the coming months with some additional surveys.
Throughout the SEPA there are some agricultural practices, all of them are relatively small scale and of a low intensive nature. There are few individuals, who rear livestock for eating and milking, this primarily involves the rearing of sheep, but does also involve the keeping of a few goats. The crops that are grown in and around the SEPA are mainly barley, olive and carob (pers comm.).
Alagadi beach is a very popular tourism and recreation destination for both tourists and local alike. On a weekend during the summer months thousands of people will visit the beach. For the most part, recreation activities are mainly centred around the beach (i.e. swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving and sunbathing. Also, during the weekend many people visit the picnic areas to make kebab etc. Many tourists (4000-5000 a season) visit Alagadi to participate in turtle watches; this can either be escorted visits during the night to watch female turtles lay their eggs or in the early evening, to watch a hatched nest being excavated and hatchlings released.
Hunting does occur within the protected area; however, it is on relatively small scale and is limited to the hunting season. Also, some fishing does take place mainly from the rocks which border the beach areas, again this involves a small number of people. There is only one professional fisherman in the area and he launches his boat from the Alagadi village beach, which does provide a home to nesting sea turtles.
Protected Area Maps and Zonation
General Map Showing Border of Protected Area, and polygon codes used for surveying
Habitat Mapping and Types for Alagadi Protected Area
Localities of Important Species of Fauna
Zontaion Maps for recommended Usage of the Protected Area