psiloritis geopark


The geological wealth of Psiloritis, the intense geomorphology and the variety of its rocks are responsible for the presence of an incredible variety of animals that survive in microclimatic conditions of every area. Hundreds of birds find places for nesting, places for hunting, relaxation after exhaustion from migration or places to hide and mate. One of the few remaining populations of the Cretan wildcat lives here. According to the researchers, it is regarded as an animal ghost.

In the heart of Psiloritis hundreds of tiny animals, beetles, snails, centipedes, isopods have lived for thousands years and continue to evolve silently (and blindlyl) 

The isolation of the island makes the rocky mass one of the most important “hot spots” of high biodiversity and endemicity in Greece and have led the last five years in its integration with NATURA network.

Psiloritis is the home for "kokkalas" or lammergeyer, which is one of the biggest and most spectacular raptors in Europe. The Cretan population of this raptor is probably the last viable population across the Balkans, since the use of poisons and growth has led the bird to extinction from the landlocked Greece. It seems that it is the last shelter in Crete.

The carrion buzzards of Psiloritis leave the visitor of the mountains speechless with their enormous “mass” flight. They create large colonies and nest in abrupt rock roofs and “lofts” that are always against the winds that they use in order to ascend in higher altitudes in order to look for dead animals.

Most of the nests at Idi Mountain (Psiloritis) are located in Amari and Pano Riza villages, using the north smooth glacis of Mylopotamos for food hunting.

A population of raptors completes the ornithological peregrination of Psiloritis. War eagles, lannerets, Bonelli’s eagles, haggards and common kestrels.

In the area of Psiloritis we are likely to come across the three types of the Cretan amphibians: the green toad, the Cretan tree frog and the Cretan waterfrog, all the types of the Cretan reptiles (snippets, lizards and the island’s four types of snakes. A unique and sad absence from Idi is the Cretan goat a species that was eliminated from the mountain due to the prevalence of gun-runners during the previous century.

Many caves and precipices of the area host large colonies of protected cheiropteras (bats) in the caves of Erfoi at the lowland Mylopotamos (hosts several hundreds of the species), the cave of Kamilaris at Tylisos village (with at least four types in large populations), at Chonos cave of Sarchos at Krousonas villages (five types), the cave of Kamares and many others.
Among the invertebrates, snails, isopods and several families of ground living beetles present endemic forms that spread exclusively on the mountain area of Idi (Psiloritis).

Seventeen species of snails of Mylopotamos are Cretan endemic species. Recent studies on “warm” points of bioversity based on invertebrate fauna of south Greece, bring out the mountainous area of Psiloritis at the second most important point of south Greece.

Φυσικό Πάρκο Ψηλορείτη - Παγκόσμιο Γεωπάρκο UNESCO