Database release:

For Special Protection Areas (SPA),
Proposed Sites for Community Importance (pSCI),
Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and
for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)



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1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name


1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Date site proposed as SCI:1996-08
Date site confirmed as SCI:2006-09
Date site designated as SAC:2011-03
National legal reference of SAC designation:Law 3937/29-3-11 (OJ 60 A)


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km]:


2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Mediterranean (0.00 %)


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3.1 Habitat types present on the site and assessment for them

Annex I Habitat types Site assessment
Code PF NP Cover [ha] Cave [number] Data quality A|B|C|D A|B|C
      RepresentativityRelative SurfaceConservationGlobal
1120  info      0.00   
1130  info      0.00   
2110  info      0.00   
2260  info      0.00   
5330  info      0.00   
5420  info      0.00   
5430  info      0.00   
8140  info      0.00   
8210  info      0.00   
92C0  info      0.00   
92D0  info      0.00   
9310  info      0.00   
9320  info      0.00   
9370  info      0.00   
  • PF: for the habitat types that can have a non-priority as well as a priority form (6210, 7130, 9430) enter "X" in the column PF to indicate the priority form.
  • NP: in case that a habitat type no longer exists in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Cover: decimal values can be entered
  • Caves: for habitat types 8310, 8330 (caves) enter the number of caves if estimated surface is not available.
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation)

3.2 Species referred to in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and listed in Annex II of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them

Species Population in the site Site assessment
G Code Scientific Name S NP T Size Unit Cat. D.qual. A|B|C|D A|B|C
      MinMax  Pop.Con.Iso.Glo.
R1293Elaphe situla           
R1222Mauremys caspica           
P1685Origanum dictamnus           
P1896Phoenix theophrasti           
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, I = Invertebrates, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Type: p = permanent, r = reproducing, c = concentration, w = wintering (for plant and non-migratory species use permanent)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the Standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting (see reference portal)
  • Abundance categories (Cat.): C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present - to fill if data are deficient (DD) or in addition to population size information
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation); VP = 'Very poor' (use this category only, if not even a rough estimation of the population size can be made, in this case the fields for population size can remain empty, but the field "Abundance categories" has to be filled in)

3.3 Other important species of flora and fauna (optional)


Population in the site


Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
Allium callimischon ssp. haemostictum                   
Allium rubrovittatum                   
Aristolochia cretica                   
Asperula rigida                   
1201Bufo viridis                   
Campanula saxatilis ssp. saxatilis                   
Centaurea idaea                   
Coluber gemonensis                   
Crepis auriculifolia                   
Cyclamen creticum                   
Erysimum candicum ssp. candicum                   
Lactuca acanthifolia                   
Martes foina bunites                   
Meles meles arcalus                   
Mustela nivalis galinthias                   
Odontites linkii ssp. cretica                   
Petromarula pinnata                   
Ricotia cretica                   
Scutellaria sieberi                   
Sedum creticum                   
Staehelina fruticosa                   
Tulipa saxatilis                   
Valeriana asarifolia                   
Verbascum arcturus                   
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, Fu = Fungi, I = Invertebrates, L = Lichens, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • CODE: for Birds, Annex IV and V species the code as provided in the reference portal should be used in addition to the scientific name
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting, (see reference portal)
  • Cat.: Abundance categories: C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present
  • Motivation categories: IV, V: Annex Species (Habitats Directive), A: National Red List data; B: Endemics; C: International Conventions; D: other reasons


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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

The site, at the southern central Crete, includes the gorge of Kourtaliotis river, a narrow river with permanent water supply, which cuts through the gorge, flowing down a rocky bed, to end up to a small cove, with a sandy beach, 250 m in length and 60-70 m in width. At the estuary, a small pond with brackish is formed, in the middle of the beach, 10 m from the sea.The water from the springs of Agios Nikolas, middleway in the gorge, is collected by a water lock which supplies water to all the villages around.The main types of biotopes that characterize the site are: rock faces with characterizing chasmophytic vegetation and phrygana, at the slopes of the gorge; riparian arborescent vegetation with Phoenix theophrastii, Nerium oleander, Ceratonia siliqua; small coastal habitas at the estuary of the river, with Vitex-agnus castus and halophytic vegetation (Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis) and small sand dunes; sea cliff vegetation and marine habitas, with Posidonia sea bedsThe Phoenix theophrastii forest -the second most important palm forest of Phoenix in Crete, aged of several decades, extends into the gorge at a distance of at least 600 m from the beach.

4.2 Quality and importance

The gorge of Kourtaliotis, including the surrounding area and the estuary, is a place comprising a rare and unique natural beauty with a great biological diversity which make it a place of great, ecological and aesthetic importance at the level of Crete and of the Mediterranean.In particular, the main elements of its quality and importance are:1) The Phoenix theophrastii forest, the second (after Vai) largest natural palm forest in Crete.Moreover, P. theophrastii is one of the only two native palm species in Europe.2) The variety of biotopes, with well structured vegetation at a good general conservation status reaching at an almost climax condition at places. This results in the high degree of biodiversity that characterizes the site and that is evident in the presence of a relatively large number of endemic species in the gorge.3) Kourtaliotis river is one of the few freshwater systems with permanent water flow in Crete.4) The presence of important bird species such as Gyps fulvus, Falco tinnunculus, Falco respectivus, and Ptyonoproque rupestris. Besides, the site is part of one of the Important Bird Areas in Europe.5) The whole area, with the old monastery of Preveli, is an historical and archaeological site.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: Biarum davisii ssp. davisii (rare), Ferulago thyrsiflora (rare), Sesleria doerfleri (rare).Tulipa saxatilis is protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81).Lactuca acanthifolia (= Scariola acanthifolia) is found in Ydra, Cyclades, East Aegean Islands andonly in SW Turkey out of Greece. Allium callimischon ssp. haemostictum is a plant with distribution in Greece and SW Turkey. Brassica cretica ssp. cretica is a chasmophyte occurring only in C. and S. Lebanon out of Greece.

4.3 Threats, pressures and activities with impacts on the site

The most important impacts and activities with high effect on the site

Negative Impacts
RankThreats and pressures [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]

Rank: H = high, M = medium, L = low
Pollution: N = Nitrogen input, P = Phosphor/Phosphate input, A = Acid input/acidification,
T = toxic inorganic chemicals, O = toxic organic chemicals, X = Mixed pollutions
i = inside, o = outside, b = both

4.5 Documentation

1) Kypriotakis Z. Unpublished data. [3.3.] 2) Patras University - Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works. 1988. (Work Team: Economidou E. et al) Entopismos kai meleti ton ygroviotopon kai allon simantikon gia tin ornithopanida viotopon tis Kritis (Localization and study of wetlands and of other important for the birdfauna biotopes of Crete). Final report, Vol. 1, Patra. p. 384. 3) Kypriotakis Z. & G. Tsiourlis. Vegetation map of Crete. Unpublished data. 4) Prefecture of Rethimno. 1986. Eisigitiki ekthesi gia tin axiopoiisi tis liminis Preveli (Intoductory report for the development of teh lake of Preveli). 5) Georghiou K. 1995. Checklist of Endemic, Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece. Draft. University of Athens. (3.3, 3.4, 4.2) 6) 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.)


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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level:

Code Cover [%]

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites:

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]
IN06Oros Kedros kai Kourtaliotiko farangi-0.00
GR95Preveli Dimon Foinika kai Lampis*5.27
GR95Kouroupa Dimon Foinika kai Lampis*14.30

Designated at international level:

Type Site name Type Cover [%]
Other Oros Kedros kai Kourtaliotiko farangi-0.00
Preveli Dimon Foinika kai Lampis*5.27
Kouroupa Dimon Foinika kai Lampis*14.30


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6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

No, but in preparation

6.3 Conservation measures (optional)

Management plan of Preveli.



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