Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre
The operation of Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre, in November 2014, marked a new era in terms of the environmental education and sustainable development in Cyprus.
The operation of the new building of the Centre, which is part of the network of Environmental Education Centres of the Ministry of Education and Culture, is the capping stone of a long, systematic effort and close cooperation between the Ministry, the Sovereign Base Areas and the community of Akrotiri.
Every day the Centre hosts visitors of all ages providing an interactive way to learn about the environmental importance of the Akrotiri Peninsula. The observatory offers fantastic views of Akrotiri Salt Lake and one can use the telescopes provided by the Centre to watch the birds. Among the spectacular views of offer are the thousands of Flamingos during winter and rare migrants during autumn such as the Demoiselle Cranes and the migrating Honey Buzzards.
Akrotiri Salt Lake
The lake itself is considered to be one of the most important wetlands in the eastern Mediterranean region. The site attracts thousands of wading birds who use the lake as a stopover during the migration seasons between Africa and Europe. BirdLife International estimates that between 2,000 and 20,000 Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus spend the winter months at this lake.
Among the outstanding Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Cyprus, this extensive site is a congregation site for waterbirds in winter and spring, including globally important numbers of Flamingos, and a raptor bottleneck site in the autumn, with globally important congregations of four birds of prey including Red-footed Falcon. Other notable migrants occurring in numbers of regional importance include Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Crane, Demoiselle Crane and Collared Practincole. Important breeding waders are Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover and Ferruginous Duck. One can enjoy the view of the Salt Lake from the observatory of the Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre.
The Episkopi Cliffs host the most important remaining colony in Cyprus of breeding Griffon Vultures, while also hosting breeding Eleonora’s Falcons and Peregrine Falcons.
Zakaki marsh/reedbed is the remnant of a once larger wetland. The site is especially important during winter and spring migration where one can see Herons and Glossy Ibis. The site is also one of the few where the Ferruginous Duck, a species of global conservation concern, breeds.