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Location Greece, Crete
Central coordinates 24o 0.00' East  35o 18.00' North
IBA criteria B2, C6
Area 54,000 ha
Altitude 600 - 2,450m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Hellenic Ornithological Society

Site description A rugged mountainous area of Crete. The northern area of the site is dominated by maquis, the south by conifer forests. The main human activities are hunting, livestock-farming and tourism.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for breeding and passage raptors, and for species characteristic of scrub and montane habitats.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Chukar Alectoris chukar resident  1996  abundant  B2  Least Concern 
Falco peregrinus resident  1996  frequent  C6  Not Recognised 
Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus resident  1996  2 breeding pairs  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos resident  1996  4 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax resident  1996  common  B2, C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Gorge of Samaria National Park UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 4,850 protected area contained by site 4,840  
Samaria Biogenetic Reserves 4,850 protected area contained by site 4,850  
Samaria Core Zone in National (Woodland) Park 4,752 protected area contained by site 4,850  
Stylou - Katochoriou Game Refuge 1,050 unknown 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Native coniferous woodland  15%
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis  20%
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland  20%
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -
Rocky areas Inland cliffs; Scree & boulders  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 70%
tourism/recreation 30%
water management 5%

Protection status National Partial International Partial4,850 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Samaria, 4,850 ha). Part of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Stylou-Katochoriou, 1,050 ha). 4,850 ha of IBA covered by Biogenetic Reserve (Council of Europe) (Ethnikos Drymos Samarias (Core area), 4,850 ha). 4,840 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Gorge of Samaria National Park, 4,840 ha). 5,068 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Ethnikos Drymos Samarias Lefka Ori, 5,068 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lefka mountains. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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