First compilation date
Date site proposed as SCI
Date site confirmed as SCI
Date site designated as SAC
National legal reference of SAC designation
Law 3937/29-3-11 (OJ 60 A)



However poor our knowledge about the site is, the little existing data give us a hint about its high biodiversity. There are well structured habitat types which are considered important for conservation. Such are the oak-wood formations; the fact that they are not included in Annex I habitat types makes the exact characterization and evaluation of the site in terms of biological importance problematic. Phragmites formations consitute another habitat type, again not covered by Annex I, but important for the fauna, especially the birds. Out of the endemic molluscs listed in section 3.3., only Vitrea clessini is found outside Crete; the rest are Cretan endemics. Besides The area also hosts several endemic plants, some of them Cretan endemics, besides Centaurea poculatoris, which is endemic to the site. The construction of secondary roads and the resulting easier accessibility will have a twofold effect: the increase of both the impact of human activities and of our knowledge about the site. Many habitats of high importance such as oak forests, ravines, and caves (one of them with early neolithic drawings) urge for further investigation. These data would be indispensable for a management plan, the lack of which is a serious problem. At the lower parts of the site, whose natural beauty has brought about expanding tourism activities, there is also need of a planned development. The springs of Argyroupolis, from which the town of Rethymnon is provided with water, constitute a case needing special consideration. OTHER IMPORTANT SPECIES WITH MOTIVATION D Plants: The species Centaurea poculatoris, Petrorhagia dianthoides, Sanguisorba cretica, Ferulago thyrsiflora, Centaurea redempta are protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81) and are included in the category of threatened species, at the level of Greece, of Europe and of the World in the IUCN Red Data List.Asperula idaea is protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81). Lamyropsis cynaroides is included in the IUCN Red Data List (1993) in the category of threatened plants characterized as rare.Serapias lingua is protected by the CITES Convention (Annex C).Ranunculus asiaticus is an East Mediterranean endemic, occurring in Crete and Aegean in Greece, otherwise in Egypt, Libya, Egypt, Sinai, SW Asia.

Other characteristics

The site has a complex geomorphological structure. Gorges, ravines, caves, dolines, pot holes, poljes, and plateaus, mostly at the higher altitudes, combined with low human activity have resulted in the creation and maintainance of very important natural habitats. The lowland part of the site consists of a plateau, with cultures and phrygana, and of a number of beaches, where increasing tourism activities take place. A natural spring at Argyroupolis and an extended oak forest are two of the habitats that are in urgent need of protection.The presence of Phragmittes formations (CORINE 1991 code 53.11), a habitat type not included in Annex I and covering a small percentage of the area, should be noted. Finally, the marine part of the site includes posidonia beds, reefs, and sea caves. As a general remark we must stress the fact that the available Annex I habitat types are insufficient and/or inadequate for the proper description of the site.


1) Kypriotakis Z. Unpublished data. (3.2.g)

2) Vardinoyannis K., 1994. Biogeografia ton cherseon malakion sto notio nisiotiko aigaiako toxo (Biogeography of land snails in the south Aegean arc). Ph.D. Thesis. Univerity of Athens.

3) Georghiou K. 1995. Checklist of Endemic, Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece. Draft. University of Athens. (3.3, 3.4, 4.2)

4) Morgan V & C. Leon. 1992. Datasheets of Flora species for revision of Appendix I of the Bern Convention. Volume IV. endemic taxa of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey Nature and environment. Nature and Envrionment. No 63 p. 106. Council of Europe, Publishing and Documentaion Service, Strasbourg. (3.2.g.)

5) Natural History Museum of Crete, Conservation of Gypaetus barbatus in Asfendou-Kallikratis (under evaluation)

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