Endangered green and loggerhead turtles make Mediterranean comeback

August 17, 2018 by  
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For 10,000 years, green and loggerhead turtles have been nesting on the Mediterranean coast of Cyprus. In the last 100 years, they have been hunted to the brink of extinction. Thankfully, due to pioneering conservation efforts made by Cypriot marine biologists, these endearing reptiles have seen a promising bounce-back in numbers, pulling them away from the brink of extinction. Related: Turtle hatchlings spotted on Mumbai beach for the first time in nearly 20 years For thousands of years, the turtles have hatched on Cyprus’s Lara Beach, fighting the waves as they make their way to the ocean and begin their lives. The reptiles return 20 to 30 years later to lay eggs and bring about the next generation of turtle hatchlings. This phenomenon is a result of the turtles’ own biological programming, which calls them back to the same beaches that their ancestors chose long ago. Conservationists have been working tirelessly to save the endangered green and loggerhead turtle populations for four decades. Their efforts began in 1978, when only 300 turtle nests remained on Cyprus’s shores. The result is “quite spectacular,” according to Andreas Demetropoulos, founder and co-head of a turtle conservation program overseen by Cyprus’s Fisheries and Marine Research Department. His program reported approximately 1,100 nests last year alone, over three times as many as there were at the program’s beginning. Related: Sea turtles appear to be “bouncing back” from the brink of extinction The green and loggerhead turtles only nest in two countries, Turkey and Cyprus. Of the 1,500 egg-laying female green turtles, approximately 200-300 return to Cyprus to lay their eggs. More than twice as many loggerhead turtles do the same. To protect them, Cyprus’s government began its conservation program long before any other EU country, and in 1989 it passed legislation that protected two beaches that the turtles use as hatching grounds. Prior to this, residents would use the beach without regard for the turtles, but in the intervening years a conservationist culture has arisen. According to the program’s other co-head, Myroula Hadjichristophorou, “When people come [to the beaches] with their families, their children, they see the babies coming out of their nests, this is something that they will never forget.” + Sea Turtle Organization Via Phys.org

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Star Wars-inspired NASA observatory will offer galactic views in Cyprus

September 7, 2017 by  
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A spaceship-like observatory is set to land atop a Cyprus mountain. Kyriakos Tsolakis Architects got the green light for a space science center that will give NASA greater research coverage over the Middle East. Located in the Troodos Mountains, this Sci Fi-inspired building commands an impressive and distinctive silhouette to “inspire and excite anyone who sees it from afar or from up close.” Named Star Observatory, the spaceship-like building will be the first purpose-built observatory in Cyprus . Renderings show the structure perched atop a tree-covered mountain 1,200 meters above sea level in Troodos Geopark, a 115-hectare UNESCO-listed park in central Cyprus. The observatory will give NASA researchers the opportunity to track celestial phenomena in the Middle East, a region where there is insufficient data. “Elena and I drew inspiration from sci-fi when drawing up plans for this observatory – I was a Star Wars fan growing up,” said architects Nicodemos K Tsolakis and Elena K Tsolakis of his and his wife’s design process to Dezeen. “Of course the client didn’t know this when they hired us. They were pretty surprised with where we took it but they love the ideas.” Related: Roden Crater is a magic space for observing cycles of geologic and celestial time The spaceship-like research center features a wedge shape with a dome on one end and a cantilevered terrace on the other. The Star Observatory will include two telescopes for daytime and nighttime viewing and visitors will also be allowed bring their own telescopes. The robust observatory will be able to withstand the region’s extreme temperatures, from blistering hot summers to below freezing temperatures in winter. + Kyriakos Tsolakis Architects Via Dezeen Images via Kyriakos Tsolakis Architects , by MIR

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Jean Nouvel’s Cyprus tower is a pixelated, perforated plant paradise

March 16, 2016 by  
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Michail Georgiou reimagines orthodox tradition for his tiny chapel in Cyprus

August 26, 2015 by  
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