Phil-AEK's - Επί φόρτωση στη Βικιπαίδεια από τον Tony Esopi, CC BY-SA 3.0 GR
The children explored a very interesting topic, which is already included in the Biology course of the 1st grade of Gymnasium, in Cyprus. The ultimate goal was to become familiar with this topic through the process of conducting research and finding information. They explored the biodiversity of Cyprus and the influence of climatic and human factors. To complete this activity, the children were divided into groups. Each group addressed different issues such as:
- The creation of a climatic profile of Cyprus and what are the expected vegetation zones based on their knowledge in the Geography course.
- Bibliographic research on the plant species that exist in Cyprus. Study of the species of Flora in the mountains and comparison with areas where the human factor is large.
- Bibliographic research on the animal species of Cyprus. Study of fauna species in the mountains and comparison with areas where the human factor is significant.
- Identification of human actions that affect the biodiversity of Cyprus in a negative way.
- What actions can we take to reverse the reduction of biodiversity.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Despite its small size, Cyprus is rich in biodiversity. This is a result of the different geomorphological sites that we find on the island, the intense changes in temperature and rainfall from region to region as well as the location of Cyprus at the crossroads of three continents. The island is characterized by a unique flora as more than 1900 plant species have been identified, of which 140 are endemic and are not found anywhere else in the world. There are also 52 different habitat types in Cyprus, of which 5 occur exclusively on the island. Regarding the fauna, 36 species of mammals have been recorded on the island so far, of which 19 are bats, 13 species are land mammals, 3 dolphins and 1 species of seal. The largest of these is the endemic wild (Ovis gmelini ophion). Cyprus is located on one of the eight main routes of birds from Europe to Africa and vice versa. The birds that have been recorded so far in Cyprus amount to 380 species. Of these, 53 reside in Cyprus and the others stay temporarily. Six of those that reside in Cyprus are considered endemic. Also in Cyprus live 22 species of reptiles of which 8 are snakes, 11 are lizards and 3 turtles, 2 marines. There are also 3 species of amphibians (frogs). The variety of insects found in Cyprus is also rich, of which 52 species are butterflies with 9 endemic species. As in the rest of our planet, the phenomenon of poaching is intense. The removal of species from food chains results in an immediate disruption of the number of other species coexisting in a habitat.