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Cyprus is inhabited by a relatively small number of mammal species (about 30) many of which have been persecuted and hunted down by man either as food or as pests. The moufflon has rebounded from a population of a few dozens in the (middle of) last century. Other species like the mesopotamian deer or wild boar have not been so lucky and are extinct from the island. The monk seal will disappear from its coastline unless a huge effort to protect it is made.
Bats (protected all over Europe) are an important group of mammals on the island, as they constitute half of the mammal species found here. Bats are very beneficial to man and it is in our benefit to protect them. Recently there have been incidents of massacre of bats on the island, which hopefully will be stopped immediately, otherwise Cyprus nature will loose some of its natural wealth. Furthermore, a decline in bat population will result in a huge increase in insect population on the island, and this may have a catastrophic effect on Cyprus agriculture.
To produce the mammals section of www.natureofcyprus.org, we used a number of sources including the book “Birds and mammals of Cyprus” (in Greek) by George Sfikas and other sources.