Wildlife conservation in Crete starts with knowledge of the ecology and diversity of the island. Our nature pages cover a great deal about the island’s natural history.
A visit to the Natural History Museum of Crete in Iraklion will show the world of Cretan nature.
Here we look at some of the rare and endangered fauna one-by-one, and organisations and projects which you can support.
|Monk Seal Monachus monachus|
|Leatherback Turtle Dermochelys coriacea|
|Green Turtle Chelonia mydas|
|Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta|
|Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus|
|Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae|
|Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus|
in Azores by Pedro Madruga
|Striped Dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba|
by João Quaresma
|Kri Kri Cretan Wild Goat Capra aegagrus creticus|
|Cretan Spiny Mouse
Acomys minous |
|Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute||www.pelagosinstitute.gr|
|Delphis Marine Dolphin Conservation||www.delphismdc.org|
|Archelon – the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece||www.archelon.gr|
|World Wildlife Fund Greece||www.wwf.gr|
|The Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal||www.mom.gr|
|The Monachus Guardian||www.monachus-guardian.org|
www.ecocrete.gr - The Pan-Cretan Network of Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations, named Eco Crete
is the coordinative body of ten Environmental NGOs from all Crete's
prefectures; One from Chania, two from Rethymnon, three from Heraklion
and four from Lassithi. It has been established since 2004.
The Mediterreanean Monk Seal Monachus monachus is Europe’s most endangered marine mammal and the rarest seal species in our oceans worldwide.
The main turtle nesting areas in Greece are in Zakynthos, at Kyparissia and Lakonikos, and Crete at Rethymnon, Chania or the Bay of Messara.
Quote from Archelon website about turtle projects in Crete:
"Crete is one of the most important known nesting areas for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean, with an average of 500-800 nests laid annually on a total of 33km of beaches. Even though the nesting areas of Crete are now being included in the NATURA 2000 network of protected areas, uncontrolled coastal development and human interference are exerting intense pressure on the nesting beaches of the island.
The ARCHELON Project of Crete aims at protecting and monitoring turtles and nests, informing visitors and promoting the co-operation with local communities and authorities as well as the tourist industry in order to achieve long term conservation. Every year ARCHELON informs some 150,000 people about the threats sea turtles face on the island."
Please consider what you might do to contribute to protecting some of Crete's unique animal species, have a look at the websites of these organisations. Of course each one is dependant on the healthy ecology of the island of Crete, her waterways and her seas.
The Cretan Spiny Mouse Acomys minous, is vulnerable and is on the ICUN Red List of endangered species. They are found in arid areas, and are nocturnal, best to look out for them at dusk and dawn.
'Plant Your Roots In Greece' is a program actively involved in reforestation all over Greece, including Crete. Especially after fires of Summer 2007, miles of precious forests and habitat have been lost. We need to replant now and recreate the forests of the future.
'Plant Your Roots in Greece' is a dedicated charity which commenced in 1991. Please click on the logo to donate on their website, with alot of more information about the good work they do.
If you have a ecological issue or project in Crete, or a concern for conservation in Crete, please let us know on our Contact Form. We would love to hear from you.