The Tatlisu protected area is situated on the northern coast of Cyprus. This site was designated a protected area and Listed as a potential Natura 2000 site by the local government in October 2008. The Tatlisu protected area is located approximately 50 km east of Girne (Kyrenia), and forms a narrow coastal strip of land starting just west of Tatlisu municipality beach and finishing a few hundred metres east of the Kaplica beach approximately. The total length of the protected coastline is 9.4 km covering an area of 127.1 hectares. The the protected area extends north from the beach into the Mediterranean Sea and the marine part of the protected area encloses 1,276.4 ha, making the total protected area as 1,403.3 ha. The southerly border for the most part is the new north coast road. However, for the complete border of the Tatlisu SEPA see the map of the area.
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 on four separate beaches. In addition to the presence of nesting turtles there are also important habitats and plant species which are listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora).
The vegetation structure of the site is of typically coastal Mediterranean nature, with a sandy, rocky and shingle shoreline, which is very narrow on some places. Currently natural areas still persist in much of the protected area, these consist primarily of mattoral and sand dune systems. These habitats are very valuable and should be strictly protected.Six distinct habitat types have been recorded within the protected area which are included in the Habitats Directive, and of these six habitat types one is identified in the Habitats Directive as a priority habitat.
The climatic conditions at Tatlisu 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 Tatlisu protected area is bordered to the south by the narrow ridge of the Kyrenia range which receives approximately 550 mm of rainfall along its ridge, at an elevation of 1,000 meters.
There are numerous seasonal stream beds which run through the Tatlisu protected area in a northerly direction to the sea, however for most of the year these remain dry and only run after heavy rains. There are no areas of permanent standing water within the Tatlisu protected area, however just outside the borderof the area is the man made reservoir near Mersinlik village.
Throughout the protected area there area number small-scale agricultural practices, all of which use traditional methods and are of a non intensive nature. There are few individuals growing cereal crops in and around the protected area, which consist of mainly barley or wheat.
Hunting, during the permitted season, does occur within the protected area, with parts of the protected area falling within previously designated hunting areas. Additionally, there are a few semi-professional fishermen in the area and they use the beaches for laying the nets and sheltering occasionally. There are no professional fishing activities in the protected area.
Within the boundaries of the site there are a number of small businesses, these mainly comprise of two restaurants, a caravan site, a small hotel and a few wooden chalets. One of the main threats to the natural integrity of the protected area is the recent building boom. Although this has improved the economic situation of some local inhabitants, the construction of a caravan site has resulted in the destruction of a significant part of the dune system at the beach site near Kaplica.
The large proportion of the past human land use mainly involved agricultural practices. In the past there has been some sand dune destruction in order to clear the site for the caravan park at Kaplica beach. Also there are some old carob warehouses which were used to store carobs before transportation. These building are currently in a state of disrepair.
The Tatlısu protected area does not include any villages or developed areas but the villages of Mersinlik and Kaplıca villages are nearby.These villages are not highly developed and have a relatively low population density.
At the beach area of Tatlısu and Kaplıca, there are restaurants. Inhabitants of village have started investing in building bed-and-breakfast accommodations and some basic beach user facilities such as showers and toilets.
The management of the protected area is essential for it's conservation.
Boundary Maps, Species Maps and Zonation for the Protected Area
Boundary Map Tatlisu Protected Area - Eastern Sector
Boundary Map Tatlisu Protected Area - Western Sector
Habitat Map Tatlisu Protected Area - Eastern Sector
Habitat Map Tatlisu Protected Area - Western Sector
Zontaion of Recommended Use for Tatlisu Protected area -Eastern Sector
Zontaion of Recommended Use for Tatlisu Protected area -Western Sector