First compilation date
Date site proposed as SCI
Date site confirmed as SCI
Date site designated as SAC
National legal reference of SAC designation



The site is characterised by landscape diversity, high biodiversity, the presence of many Cretan and Greek endemic species of flora and fauna, rare plant associations, rare species, threatened species and species in danger of extinction. More than 100 plant species of the site are endemic to the Cretan area. Some of them are extremely rare (species included in section 3.3. with motivation D). Horstrissea dolinicola is endemic to the site (a population of few individuals in Petradolakia). Many species of land snails are endemic (some of which are Cretan endemics). Deroceras minoicum is known only from a spring in Nida plateau. There is a rich endemic cave fauna with species restricted in one (or few) caves (e.g. Duvalius mixanigi, Serradium sbordoni). Also, Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum ssp. creticum, included in section 3.2.c. as Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum, is a subspecies endemic to Crete.Idi mountain is one of the EU's Important Bird Areas. Rouvas forest and Zaros canyon have been proposed for designation as biogenetic reserve. OTHER IMPORTANT SPECIES WITH MOTIVATION DThe following species are protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81) and are included in the IUCN Red Data List (1993) in the category of threatened plants: Cotoneaster nummularia (vulnerable), Convolvulus libanoticus (rare), Anthemis abrotanifolia (rare), Campanula jacquinii (rare), Cirsium morinifolium (rare), Corydalis rutifolia ssp. uniflora (rare).Asperula idaea, Ohrys basilissa and Phagnalon pygmaeum are protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81).Valantia aprica is a balkan endemic (Greece, Albania).Arum creticum is a species with distribution in Crete and the East Aegean found only in SW. Turkey out of Greece. Amelanchier ovalis ssp. cretica is a subspecies with distribution in Sicily and Greece. Viola rauliniana is a species with distribution in W. & C. Crete and Cyprus. Satureja spinosa is a species of Crete and East Aegan occcuring only in SW. Anatolia out of Greece.Allancastria cerysii is protected by the Presidential Decree 67/81.

Other characteristics

The site is located at the centre of crete in the south - east part of the massif of Psiloritis (Idi oros) which is one of the three major mountain ranges of Crete. The area includes two drainage bassins between the mountains of Skinakas (1750 m), Madara (1474 m) and Koudoumi (1857 m) and between Chalasokefalo (1917 m), Koudouni, Abelakia (1441) and Samari (1413 m). These are occupy by two forests of Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera), the sparse of Krousonas and the well conserved and one of the largest of Crete of Rouvas. In these forests the Cretan Maple (Acer creticus) has a good dynamic of recover. The other main vegetation of the mountainous zones are the cretan mid - elevated phrygana with Berberis crettica euphorbia acanthtamnos and Astragalus angustifolium up to 1500 - 1600 m as well as m lower altitudes phrygana of Sarcopoterium spinosum type. Moreover near the summets of the mountains oro - mediterranean heaths which occupy all the Cretan mountains upper 1500 m. Many taxa that characterize these formations are Cretan endemics (Aspertila idaea, Centaurea idaea etc). The spring of Zaros is outcoming from the same gorge. The dolines are of special interest, the wet dolines are characterized by scanty vegetation of annuals common in other places but rare in Crete, while thr dry dolines are characterized by dense vegetation and, in Psiloritis, by the occurence of Polygonium idaeum, specialised in this type of habitat and cinfined in Psilorotis and Dikti, and of Gagea fibrosa, a strict endemic to the dolines of Psiloritis, Pine groves (Pinus brutia) occur at the south - west slopes of the site. There is also low - not exceeding 1m - grazed, sparsely covered Quercus coccifera garrigue. human activities occur since early Neolothic times.


1) Bate D. 1905. On the mammals of Crete. Ibis, 103a:503 - 514.
2) Beutler A. 1981. Cyrtodactylus kotschyi (Steindachner 1870) - Aegaeischer Bogenfingerecko. In Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas. Aula-verlag Wiesbaden, W. Boehme (Ed.). Bant 1 Heath, M. F. and Evans, M. I., eds. 2000. Important Bird Areas in Europe: Priority sites for conservation. 2: Southern Europe. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. BirdLife Conservation

Series No. 8, p. 791.

Reference: Natura 2000 data form, database release 7 Feb 2014