About Wildlife & Fauna in Southern Evia

As a bridge between mainland Greece and the Aegean as well as its large number of remote areas within the region, southern Evia is an extremely important haven for a large variety of wildlife. Lake Dystos, the large number of gorges and ranges of Mt. Ochi and Cavo d’ Oro are all microcosms of species, many of which are rare and endangered.

Reptilian life has flourished within southern Evia, and species such as the Mediterranean tortoise, (Testudo hermanni), Marginated tortoise (Testudo marginate , European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis),  a protected species, and the Caspian turtle (Mauremys caspica) can be seen in various places throughout the region.  Southern Evia is also home to several snakes, including the poisonous Long-nosed viper (Vipera amodytes). Other harmless varieties include the common grass snake (Natrix natrix), the Balkan whip snake (Coluber caspius), and the European rat snake (Elaphe situla) can all be seen at large in southern Evia. The eastern four-lined rat snake is a strictly protected species. Lizards  inhabit several different types of habitats, including wetlands, forests, rocky mountainsides and river pools. They range from the bizarre European legless lizard (Ophisaurus apodus), the brightly coloured eastern green lizard (Lacerta viridis) and the snake-eyed skink (ablepharus kitaibelii), are just a few examples of some commonly spotted varieties. Amphibians are another important link in the eco-system chain, and several speiceis of frogs, toads and salamanders are found in abundance throughout several areas of southern Evia.

Mammals also play a significant role in the vitality of the region. Foxes, rodents, ferrets, hares hedgehogs, weasels and several rodent species are just a few examples of critters which can be spotted within the region. A strange and fascinating species of mouse lives here, particularly in the Kastanolongo forest. The dormouse (Glis glis) looks more like a squirrel and has large eyes which it uses to locate food during the night. The highly protected Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) has been occasionally spotted within the areas of Kallianos beach and Actaio.

The area is also home to a dazzling array of butterflies including the two-tailed pasha (Charaxes jasius) and the small blue butterfly as well as varieties of moths such as Europe’s largest Emperor moth (Saturnia pavonina). The giant Saga hellenica cricket can be found near Karystos, and is much larger than other species commonly found in Greece.

The waters surrounding southern Evia are also teeming with life. The southern Evia gulf is home to one of the most interesting eco-systems within the country. Reefs, coral, sea weed beds flourish in these warm, shallow waters. It is also a haven to shellfish and crustaceans. Despite its treacherous reputation among sailors (or maybe because of it) the waters near Cape d’ Oro reaches depths deeper than 300 metres and enjoy strong currents which bring with them a large variety of fish and other sea mammals. Dolphin pods can commonly be been here during the early months of summer.

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