Wildlife Conservation in Crete

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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 Heraklion will show the world of Cretan nature.

A trip to Cretaquarium will delight adults and children alike, opening up the world of the sea.

Here we look at some of the rare and endangered fauna one-by-one, and organisations and projects which you can support.

The Mediterreanean Monk Seal Monachus monachus is Europe’s most endangered marine mammal and the rarest seal species in our oceans worldwide.

A seahorse in Creteaquarium

Wildlife to Watch

Monk Seal Monk Seal Monachus monachus
Leatherback Turtle Leatherback Turtle Dermochelys coriacea
Green Turtle Crete Kriti Green Turtle Chelonia mydas
Loggerhead Turtle Greece by Chomik Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta
Bearded Vulture Crete Kriti Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus
Eleonora's Falcon Crete Kriti Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae
Sperm Whale (image by Gustavo A) Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus
Striped Dolphin (image by Kostas Limisios)Striped Dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba
Kri Kri Crete Kriti by Yannis DourosKri Kri Cretan Wild Goat Capra aegagrus creticus
Cretan Spiny Mouse Crete KritiCretan Spiny Mouse Acomys minous
is vulnerable and is on the ICU

Conservation in Crete - Action

Archelon - the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece


Pelagos Logo

Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute


WWF Greece Logo

Wildlife Fund Greece


Mom Logo

The Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal


Monachus Guardian Logo

The Monachus Guardian


Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles Logo

The Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles


The Pan-Cretan Network of Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations, named Eco Crete Logo

The Pan-Cretan Network of Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations, named Eco Crete is the coordinating body of ten environmental NGOs in Crete. It has been established since 2004.


Turtle Conservation

Loggerhead Turtle

The Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) nest along Crete's coastlines. There are three project sites run each year by Archelon to help conserve this species. Volunteers can join in one of the locations on Crete between 15 May and 10 October each summer.

  • Chania
  • Rethymnon
  • Messara
Archelon Volunteers - Turtle Project
Turtle Volunteers in Crete

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.

What Can I Do?


  • inform yourself about turtles in Crete
  • ask your host if there are turtles breeding on your beach
  • turn lights off at night if you are in a hotel on the beach
  • get involved in a turtle conservation project for your next vacation


  • go to the beach at night
  • use lights on the beach
  • buy products made of turtle
  • leave rubbish on the beach or in the water
  • leave your sunchairs or other equipment on the beach at night

See the work below by Medasset for cleaner waters and beaches of Greece and the Mediterranean.

Remember - turtles cannot tell the difference between their food and plastic bags! This video shows you their point of view.

Leave Only Footprints because We Love Crete

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.

We Love Crete Logo

Crete Travel Guide
Travel to the Greek Islands
Travel to Athens
Crete to Santorini
Crete to Mykonos