Friday’s Fact: Cyprus Mouflon

The Cyprus Mouflon is a national emblem of Cyprus, but you’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of this fast and fancy footed mammal!

Cyprus Moufflon

Click on the image for more info!

Mouflons, a type of wild sheep, were introduced to Cyprus, along with many other Mediterranean islands, in the neolithic period.  Mouflons are now rare on these islands (but have since been successfully introduced to continental Europe), and the Cyprus Mouflon species is now endemic to Cyprus, with a population of only around 3000 and are officially classified as feral by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Being the biggest animal found on the island, the mouflons grow up to about 1 metre in height and weigh up to around 35 kilos (around 77 pounds).   They are found in small herds mainly in the Paphos Forest and feed on various kinds of wild growth that flourish in the shady valleys of the forest.  The mouflons are very shy and agile and move very fast on the steep forest slopes, making them very rare to spot.  The best time of year to see a mouflon is in summer, when their vegetation tends to wither which forces them to wander out of the forest to look for food.

 

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