Explore Cretan

Fauna

Animals

Crete is home to endangered and endemic wildlife
found nowhere else in the world, which can
only survive with the help of ongoing protection.

Bird Watching | The Cretan Ibex | The Cretan Wildcat | Bats of Crete

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Bird Watching

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Whales in Crete?

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Cave Life

Bats

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Crete is isolated from other continental regions of Europe, Asia and Africa and this is reflected on the genetic diversity of the island’s fauna. From the proud Cretan ibex, the wildcat and the Cretan shrew to the endemic arthropods and bats, the fauna of Crete hides many secrets about the evolution of species in the Eastern Mediterranean.

On the island there are no animals that could harm humans. The ancestors of the Cretans attributed this either to a labor of Hercules in order to honor the birthplace of Zeus, Crete, or to the blessings of Paul the Apostle, who spent two years in Crete.

Avifauna of Crete is considered one of the richest in Europe, home to over 350 bird species. Cretan mountains host the highest insular population of vultures in the world, while along with Corsica, Crete hosts the last couples of lammergeiers in the Balkan Peninsula.

Mammals
Crete is isolated from the rest mainland of Europe, Asia and Africa, which is strongly reflected in the genetic diversity of the fauna. From the proud Cretan ibex, the lynx and the spiny mouse, to the stenoendemic arthropods and bats of Crete, the fauna of Crete holds many secrets about the evolution of species. There are no hazardous mammals for humans in Crete, in contrary to other places of Greece. Indeed, the ancient Greeks attributed this lack of large mammals such...
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Amphibians
The climate of Crete is generally dry and warm, while the water resources (lakes and rivers) dry up after spring. However, the few and limited habitats constitute important refuges for the few species of frogs and toads that live on the island. The most important species is the Cretan Water Frog (Pelophylax cretensis), which is endemic only to Crete. Also, there are European tree frogs (Hyla arborea) and Green Toads (Pseudepidalea viridis).
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Reptiles
The secluded island of Crete hosts several species of reptiles, such as turtles, snakes and lizards, with none of them being hazardous for human. The largest reptile is the endangered loggerhead turtle, which nests on the sandy beaches of the island. Apart from the turtles, Crete also hosts several lizards, with one species (namely the Cretan wall lizard) being indigenous only to Crete.
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Avifauna
Crete is located at the crossroads of three continents, hosting thousands of migratory birds in its wetlands every year. However, there are also permanent residents, with the most important birds being the birds of prey, which nest in the rugged mountains and the wild gorges of Crete. Indeed, it is notable that Asterousia Mountains host the largest number of birds of prey in Europe. Moreover, more than 412 different bird species have been identified on Crete, most migratory, thus birding...
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Marine Mammals
The Greek seas are rich in large marine mammals, a fact unknown to most Greeks ,although reported since ancient times. Indeed, the Minoan frescoes depicting dolphins in Queen's Megaron at Knossos, indicate that Minoans knew many things about these creatures and respected them. Marine mammals differ from fish as they do not have gills for breathing, but lungs. Apart from the famous endangered Mediterranean monk seal, which lives in almost all the coasts of the country,...
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Fish of Crete - 3.2 out of 5 based on 5 votes
Fish of Crete

Crete is located in the middle of the South East Mediterranean sea and abounds in fish species. Here we present a list of the most commonly met fish of Crete. This can be a valuable guide for snorkellers, so as to recognize the fish they see while snorkeling.

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