Cyprus Butterflies by Eddie John F. L. S., F. R. E. S.

A Guide to the Butterflies of Cyprus,

Cyprus Butterfly Recording Scheme and

Cyprus Butterfly Study Group

Collection of Invertebrates in Cyprus

Among the many visitors to Cyprus are those who take a keen interest in natural history. The Environment Service department of the Ministry of Agriculture recognizes the valuable contribution made to the Cypriot records by collectors and observers over many years, so the introduction of the need for a Permit (see section on right) does not mean an imposition of unnecessarily strict sanctions on those who wish to continue with their studies. However, with the increasing popularity of Cyprus as a holiday destination, it is appropriate to provide certain guidelines for the collection of invertebrates.

Cyprus is a small island, with correspondingly small populations of many species. Some of these populations of invertebrates are confined to particular areas of the island, either solely because of hostplant/habitat relationships or because the sedentary nature of the species, in combination with topographical barriers or the loss of natural ‘corridors’, prevents movement from one part of the island to another. Consequently the over-collecting of species from one such isolated area may mean that others of the same species are physically unable to replace those taken, with the result that the species may be lost to the area.

Your cooperation is therefore being sought for two reasons:

1. If collecting specimens, please adhere to the guidelines set out below.

2. To aid any future conservation projects, please provide the Ministry of Agriculture’s Environment Service with detailed records of your observations or specimens taken (Species, Numbers, Location, Date). For butterflies, please refer to Section 5 (Recording).

A Code of Practice for the Collection of Lepidoptera and other Invertebrates in Cyprus.

1. Collecting - general

1(i) Please exercise restraint when collecting or trapping. Do not over-collect, especially from isolated populations. The taking of voucher specimens for the purposes of identification is acceptable, and in many circumstances should be all that is necessary. Where practicable, consider photography as an alternative to collecting.
1(ii) Where specimens are required for a collection do not take unduly long series – especially from a single site or where the species is uncommon or is under threat. Collections should be fully labelled (Species, Location, Date, Collector), properly cared for, stored away from light and protected from insect attack. A collection is a valuable resource and may be of potential interest to an appropriate museum.
In exceptional circumstances, where unusually large numbers of insects may be required for research or bona fide study purposes, they should be obtained from as many different sites as possible. This especially applies if they are threatened taxa. Ensure that the results of any such work are subsequently shared with the relevant authorities and/or are published.
1(iv) Similar care should be taken when collecting immature stages for subsequent rearing. Do not remove more ova or larvae than is strictly necessary.

2. Consideration for the Environment

2(i) Take care when parking off-road and avoid trampling on rare plants.
Have consideration for all forms of fauna and flora and avoid disturbance – especially to nesting birds. Venomous snakes are present in Cyprus, but they should not be harmed (take care where you place your feet, particularly during spring and autumn when snakes are less active and therefore less able to avoid being trodden upon!).
Do not uproot plants, especially rare species.

3. Respect for Private Property

The relative lack of fencing in rural areas of Cyprus enables much easier access to the countryside than is possible in many Mediterranean islands. Please respect this by keeping to established tracks and do not abuse the privilege by collecting or trapping on private property without permission from the owner.

4. Collecting near Sensitive Areas

Do not use cameras in or near areas designated by the military as restricted zones. You will be challenged if seen. Similarly, the use of GPS is inadvisable in such areas.

5. Recording

The importance of accurate recording cannot be over-emphasised, so please seek confirmation (voucher specimens or photographs) if doubt exists or if reporting a species new to Cyprus. Note the species seen, location (nearest town, village or landmark, with the UTM 5 km square if known) along with the date of observation.
The only known national invertebrate recording scheme in operation for Cyprus is the Butterfly Recording Scheme run by me, so please send your records to me at::


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