Giant Turtle Rescue
St. George’s Island (a very short distance from Latchi) is a very popular dive site, just off the Akamas Peninsula, which is a designated nature reserve. Akamas (Greek: Ακάμας, Turkish: Akama), is a promontory and cape at the northwest extremity of Cyprus with an area of 230 square kilometres. Ptolemy described it as a thickly wooded headland, divided into two by summits [a mountain range] rising towards the north. The peninsula is named after a son of Theseus, hero of the Trojan War and founder of the city-kingdom of Soli.
Special Thanks to Arne J. Wood for the photos & video
Visitor attractions in Akamas include a loggerhead turtle sanctuary and the Baths of Aphrodite where the goddess is said to have bathed, near Polis. As the area is therefore relatively inaccessible, there is a large diversity of flora and fauna there. Indeed, the European Environment Agency noted that it was one of only 22 areas of endemism in Europe.
Akamas supports a wide diversity of life including many vulnerable species, some of which are endemic to Akamas. Wild flowers include cyclamen, turban buttercups, alyssum (Alyssum akamasicum, endemic to Akamas), Cyprus tulip, and many species of orchid, yellow gorse and white rock rose.
The following 39 of the 128 endemic plant species of Cyprus are found in the Akamas peninsula and animals found in Akamas include fruit bats, shrews, hedgehogs, foxes, snakes, lizards, griffon vultures, Cyprus warblers, and Cyprus scops owls. Vulnerable species include bats, magreonk seals[clarification needed] and sea turtles. At Lara Bay there is a turtle hatchery, where the eggs are protected.