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Palaearctic > Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub >
Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests (PA1207)

Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests
Southern coast, Turkey
Photograph by © WWF-Canon/Magnus SYLVEN


Southwestern Asia: Along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and Syria
Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub

55,500 square miles (143,800 square kilometers) -- about the size of Illinois

· Eggs in the Sand
· Special Features
· Did You Know?
· Wild Side
· Cause for Concern
More Photos

Eggs in the Sand

The coastline of the eastern Mediterranean is an important nesting ground for at least two threatened species of turtle--the loggerhead and green turtle. These creatures join the many birds and mammals that enliven this ecoregion.

Special Features Special Features

Vegetation is widely varied here. It includes occurrences of cedar of Lebanon, evergreen scrub, flowering annuals, coastal dune communities with sea grasses, fig trees, and patches of black pine. The vegetation grows in two to three layers, with the highest of these reaching a height of only 13 feet (4 m) or so. Trees tend to be short and thick with twisted, spreading branches. Fire is a frequent occurrence and an important part of plants’ lives. Some pines hold their cones until a fire triggers them to release their seeds. Rain is seasonal, falling between October and March. Winters are mild and wet, and summers are warm and dry. Lakes in the eastern part of this ecoregion are part of the source for the Euphrates River, which empties into the Persian Gulf.

Did You Know?
Named for their big heads, loggerhead turtles grow to impressive sizes. Adults can weigh 200 to 350 pounds (90 to 158 kg) and measure about 3 feet (1 m) in length.

Wild Side

Many species of wild daffodil and iris color the landscape as spring approaches. One of the only strictly arboreal species of lizard in Europe--the European chameleon--may be seen lurking on a tree branch, stalking insects. A Kotschy’s gecko or a snake-eyed lizard may also be seen scurrying across a rocky scrub area or sunning on a rock. Mammals include lesser white-toothed shrews, serotine bats, golden jackals, red foxes, and weasels.

Cause for Concern

The main threats to this ecoregion are logging, overgrazing, commercial collecting of plant bulbs, urbanization, and development for tourism along the coast.

For more information on this ecoregion, go to the World Wildlife Fund Scientific Report.

All text by World Wildlife Fund © 2001