Ethniko Dasiko Parko Rizoelia (Rizoelia National Forest Park) - CY6000006
The project's targeted site is located 3 km southwest of Aradippou and 7 km northeast of Larnaca and its boundaries follow more or less the delimitation line of Rizoelia National Forest Park. The latter covers an area of 97 ha.
The climate of the area is typically Mediterranean. The dry period is between June and September while the main rainy period is between November till March and the mean annual rainfall is around 345 mm. The coolest months are January and February, with mean daily temperature reaching minimum 7,5 °C and maximum 16,5 °C. During these months, the mean annual temperature is minimum 3 °C and maximum 19,5 °C. The warmest months are July and August, with mean daily temperature reaching minimum 22 °C and maximum 33 °C.
The landscape of the area is mild with small hills (the altitude of which is not more than 150 m) and gentle slopes. The geological substrate of the area consists of gypsum alternating with chalky marls and marly chalks. The soils are cypsiric lithic leptosols, cypsiric antropic regosols and calcanic leptic regosols.
Most of National Forest Park is covered by plantations of pines (Pinus brutia), cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens), stone pines (Pinus pinea) and acacias (Acacia saligna). The natural habitats found at the site are mostly *1520 - Gypsum steppes, *5220 - Arborescent matorrals with Ziziphus, 5420 - Sarcopoterium spinosum phryganas and *6220 - Pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals of the Thero - Brachypodietea. The natural habitat types are either in pure strands or in mixture forming mosaics.
Due to the important biodiversity of the site, Rizoelia National Forest Park (CY6000006) is included within the European Natura 2000 network. Referring to the above mentioned habitat types, they are all protected by Council Directive 92/43/EEC (Habitats Directive), since they are listed in Annex I. Three of them are characterized as 'priority habitats' (and are indicated with an asterisk (*)) because they are under the threat of extinction and it is necessary to take immediate action to preserve them.