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The proud Cretan beast (capra aegagrus cretica) lives only in the
Samaria Gorge. There and
elsewhere, you can see Cretan eagles (aquila chrysaetos) and partridges (alectoris
chukar). Ferrets, skunks, weasels, hares, hawks, etc. can also be seen in open
There is also an endeavour to protect an area on the north shores
of the county especially for the turtles (caretta-caretta), that live there.
(Text: Dr. Anastasia Kalpaki-Georgoulaki)
This text (extract) is cited December 2003 from the Chania
Prefecture Tourism Committee tourist pamphlet (2002).
The main fauna species is the world-famous Cretan Chamois (wild goat)
(CARPA AEGAGRUS CRETICA), an extremely beautiful and dashing animal that has been
preserved and is now living freely in the gorge of Samaria and in the three gorges
parallel to it.
(Text: Antonis Plymakis)
This text (extract) is cited February 2004 from the Chania
Prefecture Tourism Committee tourist pamphlet.
Ancient authors' reports
Of Mt. Cyllene are white.
The mountainous part of Thrace, on this side the river Nestus, which runs through the land of Abdera, breeds among other wild beasts lions, which once attacked the army of Xerxes, and mauled the camels carrying his supplies.
- Perseus: Pausanias, Description of Greece, Elis
Scillus is also a hunting-ground for wild boars and deer.
- Perseus: Pausanias, Description of Greece, Elis
Sea-turtle Caretta caretta & Seal Monachus
The Fauna of Epirus
(Following URL information in Greek only)
Hellenic Ornithological Society
Hellenic Wildlife Hospital
Photo Album in URL, information in Greek only.
Τhese islets, from which both human beings and land meat eaters are
absent, serve as refuges for ancient species, which have disappeared with the
passage of time from other areas. Fossil findings, which show the different evolution
of animal species on these isolated ecosystems, aren’t rare, a prime example
being the dwarf elephants of Tilos.
The many caves, crevices in the rocks, high rocky formations, and
dangerous cliffs all serve as refuges for rare species of birds such as birds
of prey, small hawks, wild pigeons, herons and cormorants. Also, due to their
geographical position, the islands are a stopover for migrating birds. Tens of
millions of these birds visit the islands each spring and autumn.
Quite surprising is the rich sea life found in the Dodecanese seas.
The rare Mediterranean seal finds refuge in the coastal caves, together with the
dolphins, turtles, many varieties of fish, molluscs and crustaceans which form
the rich ecosystem of the Dodecanese sea.
Every single island and islet is of itself a unique natural museum.
This of course favours the development of special types of tourism.
(Text: Manolis Makris)
This text (extract) is cited February 2004 from the Dodekanissos
Union of Municipalities & Communities pamphlet.
Fauna and sea
As for the animals, apart from the well-known reptiles, there’s
“korkophylos”, a kind that looks like a small crocodile. On the island’s
rocky shores many species of birds, both rapacious and non-rapacious, find refuge,
while flocks of migratory birds stop at some points of the island. Hence, we see
species of wild duck and swan in the small and large dams of the Raches
region. Apart from the variety of dairy animals found in Evdilos,
the visitor travelling along the road will often see the wild goats (raska) -
famous for their tasty meat.
Ikaria is renown from antiquity to the present day for its unique
therapeutic Hot Springs (Therma,
Agios Kirikos), as well as
for its fish (Icthyoessa), such as “sargos”, “skaros”,
“kefalades”, “balades”, “skorpines”, “thrapsala”
In the seas of Ikaria, mammals such as the Mediterranean Seal find
refuge, as well as the Rhino Dolphin and the Zono Dolphin, which in other parts
of the Mediterranean are endangered species. Recently, studies have been conducted
so as to locate sperm whales and other kinds of whales-all parts of a program
by Essex University.
This text (extract) is cited January 2004 from the Evdilos
Municipal Cultural Organization tourist pamphlet.
Caretta-Caretta turtle and Monachus-Monachus seal.
- Municipality of Ithaki WebPage
The Caretta-Caretta sea turtle gives birth and breeds in the Mediterranean Sea. Its main breeding ground in West Peloponnese is on the sea-front of the Gulf of Kyparissia, from the outlet of the Arkadian River to the outlet of Nedas. In this area, a scientific research is being carried out whose aim is to record the breeding, mark the «adult» nests and fence them with special nets, transport the nests which are near the sea to natural breeding grounds as well as to inform and sensitize the local people and their visitors by settling an information office at Kalo Nero.
This text is cited March 2003 from the Messenia Prefecture Tourism Promotion Commission URL below, which contains image.
The fauna of Lesvos
Of course the forests of Lesvos are the home of several small animals. Among them are squirrels of the species "Sciurus Anomalus", foxes, birds, like the very interesting partridge "Alectoris Chuvar", and others. There are several species of snakes but only one poisonous species, the "Vipera Xanthina". A very interesting ecosystem is the Wetland of the Bay of Kalloni which includes the bay itself and a large number of wetlands: the saltpans of Kalloni and Polychnitos, salt plains, streams and their mouths, reed thickets, pine forests and olive groves. In the wetlands of the bay alone, 134 different bird species have been recorded several of which are migratory.
Its many interesting inhabitants include storks, flamingos, kingfisher, the tringa totanus, a fidgety bird who at the slightest sound flies into the air arousing the other birds along and the avocet a bird with tall legs and an upward turning beak. In the recent years birdwatching facilities have been constructed while the number of persons visiting Lesvos in order to watch the birds has also increased.
This extract is cited May 2003 from the Prefecture of Lesvos URL below, which contains images.
Ursus arctos (brown bear)
- Municipality of Chassia WebPage
- Municipality of Chassia WebPage
Much of the same facts can be applied to the fauna as to the flora,
since the development of the fauna depends on environmental factors as well as
altitude and temperature. Therefore, we shall classify the animals and the birds,
which have their habitat in Crete and more precisely in the prefecture of Rethymno,
according to the zones of altitude.
In the coastal area and primarily on the rocky shores the famous sea
gull nests as well as the falcon (Falco eleonore), which comes from Africa to
Crete during the summer months. Furthermore the well-known sea turtle Caretta
caretta lays its eggs on the sandy beaches.
In the area of flat land, that is, in the valleys and on low hills,
you can find hares, weasels, badgers, hedgehogs, voles (Apodeus sylvaticus-creticus)
and bats as well as birds such as sparrows (Passer domesticus), goldfinches (Carduelis
carduelis), swallows (Delichon urbica), carrion crows (Corvus corone), linnets
(Fringila coelembs) and many others.
The same species of animals and birds can also be found in the semi-mountainous
area, as well as certain species of predatory birds such as the crow (Corvus corax)
and the blackbird (Turbus merula).
However, the realm of all predatory birds such as the harrier eagle
(Gypaetus barbatus) and all the other above-mentioned species is the mountainous
area. There, the Cretan wild goat (Capra aegagrus) and the Cretan wild cat (Felix
silvestris), which are both in danger of extinction, have their habitat.
- Rethymno Prefecture Tourism Committee WebPage
- Municipality of Pythagorio WebPage
The island's Fauna, as well as its Flora, does not present a great
variety. This is due to the fact that Syros is densely populated in some parts,
whereas other parts are virtually deserted.
However, the island's geographic isolation has led to the development
of typical subspecies, often unique in the world.
Thus, the herpetofauna of Syros includes 11 kinds of reptiles and
2 kinds of amphibians. The reptiles are:
- Elaphe situla (homesnake)
- Natrix natrix (water snake), endangered species
- Telescopus fallax fallax
- Vipera ammodytes meridionalis (Adder), probably the only dangerous
snake on the island
- Coluber gemonensis gyarosensis (black snake), which is unique and belongs
to the adder family.
As for the ornithofauna, the Cycladic islands are the main
"corridor" for birds migrating to and from Africa. Different kinds of rare birds
of prey are registered on Syros, such as:
- Haliaeetus albicilla (Sea eagle) globally endangered species.
- Hieraaetus pennatus (Fish hawk)
- Falco sp. (Dif. kinds of hawks)
- Circus sp. (Dif. kinds of marsh hawks)
Noteworthy is the Monachus monachus (Mediterranean seal),
frequently spotted, mostly during the spring, on different coasts of the island,
i.e. on Possidonia, Komitos
and Agathopes. In winter,
the seals occasionally venture into the harbour of Hermoupolis,
as do the dolphins, in search of food.
This text is cited Apr 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.
Lesbian Wildlife Hospital
Place of breeding of Caretta-Cacretta