Northern Karpathos and the islet of Saria, where studies that were part of the Life program were carried out, constitute one of the most important biotopes of the Mediterranean seal worldwide.
Many kinds of natural habitats exist on Karpathos and Saria among which are Posidonia habitats, Mediterranean rivers, Mediterranean temporary ponds, the Sarcopoterium spinosum garrigue, reefs, the Aegean calcareous rocks, caves, scree of the Balkan Peninsula, oriental plane (Platanus orientalis) forests, Mediterranean pine forests containing indigenous Mediterranean pine species, etc.
In the northern part of the island (or Upper part, as the locals like to call it) and on the Saria islet even garrigue has more value! We are talking about an area of around 100km2 of mountainous terrain (mountain areas, canyons, streams, steep rocks) that is part of the NATURA 2000 network as one of the most important ecological regions in Europe and rightfully so, since more than 87 species of its flora alone are considered indigenous, rare or endangered. When it comes to the island’s fauna, the most important species in this protected area is the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus). More than 30 Mediterranean monk seals have been observed living in this biotope and among the amphibian species living here the Lyciasalamandra helverseni salamander and the indigenous Pelophylax cerigensis frog stand out.
Northern Karpathos and Saria are also two of the most important regions for birds in Europe. The Bonelli’s Eagle (or Gitsila, as the locals call it), the Eleonora’s Falcon, the Aegean Seagull, the Chukar Partridge and the European Shag stand out among the 43 bird species that have been observed here.
Since 2007 a managing entity based in Diafani has been active in order to help protect and preserve the biotopes and raise public awareness about this isolated region of the island.
Tel.: +30 22450 51336