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 Type1.2 Site code

1.3 Site name

1.4 First Compilation date1.5 Update date

1.6 Respondent:

Date site proposed as SCI:1997-04
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
1110info      0.00   
1120info      0.00   
1130info      0.00   
1170info      0.00   
1210info      0.00   
1240info      0.00   
2110info      0.00   
3290info      0.00   
5330info      0.00   
5420info      0.00   
5430info      0.00   
6220info      0.00   
6420info      0.00   
7230info      0.00   
8210info      0.00   
8310info      0.00   
92C0info      0.00   
9310info      0.00   
9320info      0.00   
9340info      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.
R1224Caretta caretta             
R1293Elaphe situla           
R1222Mauremys caspica           
M1366Monachus monachus                 
P1685Origanum dictamnus           
M1304Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum           
M1303Rhinolophus hipposideros           
  • 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 rubrovittatum                   
1201  Bufo viridis                   
  Centaurea argentea                   
  Centaurea idaea                   
1274  Chalcides ocellatus                   
  Coluber gemonensis                   
  Crocidura suaveolens                   
  Erysimum candicum ssp. candicum                   
  Hemidactylus turcicus                   
  Lactuca acanthifolia                   
  Martes foina bunites                   
  Medicago strasseri                   
  Meles meles arcalus                   
  Mustela nivalis galinthias                   
1292  Natrix tessellata                   
  Odontites linkii ssp. cretica                   
  Petromarula pinnata                   
  Phlomis lanata                   
1238  Podarcis erhardii                   
  Scabiosa albocincta                   
  Scutellaria sieberi                   
  Sedum creticum                   
  Tarentola mauritanica                   
  Verbascum arcturus                   
  Viola cretica                   
  • 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 area is located at the nothern part of Crete on the south-east of Rethymnon town. It comprises the stream Sfakoryako, its tributaries and their valleys and the gorges of Prasses (Prassiano) and Agios Antonios Patsou. It is surrounded by many hills and low mountains, named Angoli, Soros, Angathi, Veni koryfi, Mavrou koryfi, and Gasparis. The coastal part of the site strats at 3 km east of Rethymnon and extends up to the cape Lianos kavos including a sea belt delimited by the depth curve of depth 50m (Posidonia belt). Finally, it includes the small wetland system of Geropotamos river, a narrow belt from cape Lianos to the interior. The site is characterized by various vegetation types changing from one part to the other and by diverse vulnerability, as most of the human activities are limited at the coastal area. Matorrals of Querqus coccifera and phryganas cover most of the terrestrial part of the site. Other characteristic vegetation is the Oleo-Ceratonium mattoral on the northwest part, a forest of Querqus ilex at the entrance of Patsos gorge, and the gallery of Salix at the banks of the Sfakoryako stream. There is also riparian vegetation with common perrenials or annuals (the vegetation of a constantly flowing mediterranean river with gravel bed, usually pebbles, a habitat type not included in Annex I). The cultivated land is located mostly around the villages and the valley. NOTE: 5331, Euphorbia dendroides is a rare species of the phrygana in the area. Only spots were found close to Prassa village with bushes of 10 to 30 years old. Overgrazing is a serious threat for this community.

4.2 Quality and importance

The importance of the site lies mainly on the variety of terrestrial and marine biotopes that give rise to a significant biological diversity. In particular, the elements that comprise the ecological quality and importance of the site are:1) A variety of natural well structured and mostly well conserved vegetation types.In particular, the mattoral of Querqus coccifera, especialy at the southern part of the site but also in some patches elsewhere is at a very good conservation status in comparison with other mattorals in Crete and many species of the flora of the maquis vegetation are represented very well in it.2) The cliffs of the site host a large number of species, mainly of the typical chasmophytic flora. For example Origanum dictamnus (included in Annex II of the Directive 92/43/EEC) as well as the species of plants listed on section "other important species" are found at the gorge of Prases. Some of the species listed on the section of "other important species" are endemic to Greece and some of them endemic to Crete; 2 species are endemic to Crete and Karpathos, and Erysimun candicum ssp. candicum is endemic to Crete, Karpathos and the Cyclades.3) There are a lot of caves but their fauna is not adequatelly known yet. The endemic Cretan species Troglophyllus spinulosus (order Orthoptera) has been reported in the site. Also, two endangered species of bats have been recorded at the caves near Mylli.4) The Molluscs of the site are interesting: some species of endemic Cretan terrestrial snails have been recorded in the area (section 3.3).5) The monk seal, Monachus monachus, has been recorded at the marine area of the eastern part of the site. There are some underwater caves at the coast between the beach of Scaletta and the mouth of Geropotamos river, which form appropriate habitats for this endagered species.6) Caretta caretta, an endagered species of sea turtle, uses the beach of Rethymnon to nest. The beach from Perivolia to Scaletta is one of the three most important nesting beaches in Greece and one of the most important in the Mediteranean sea. A mean of 410 nests per nesting season were reported after a five year monitoring project by the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece. Á significant percentage of the nests in the known nesting beaches in Greece are found here. The nesting density is also very high (average more than 35 nests per Km). Nests of the sea turtle have also been recorded at the small beach of Geropotamos mouth.7) The gorge of Prases and the surrounding area have been recognised as a very good biotope for reptiles. Mauremis caspica is also found in good numbers at the wetland of Geropotamos. Elaphe situla and Mauremis caspica and some more species (listed on section 3.3), all rare and legally protected at national and international level and occurring at the site. With the exception of Tarentola mauritanica and Hemidactylus turcicus, all the others are found in the site at the borders of the species distribution. 8) All the amphibians of Crete, which are threatened and protected species, are found in the site. Bufo viridis is quite common in the area. Hyla arborea kretensis is a narrow endenic of Crete.9) All the Mammals occurring in the site (section 3.3) are legally protected. Meles meles arcalus is narrow endemic of Crete, included in the National Red Data Book. Also, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum creticum (included in section 3.2.c. as Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum) is a subspecies endemic to Crete.10) The avifauna is also important: Many species of birds have been recorded at the site. Most of them are migratory species. The wetland of Geropotamos is a very important area for them, especialy for Craradriformes, Herons and some Passeriformes. Alcedo atthis, which is a species protected by Annex I of the Directive 79/409/EEC, passes through the shores in big numbers. A colony of Gyps fulvus at the gorge of Prases and the presence of Hieraaetus fasciatus have also been recorded in the site.11) The site combines the ecological importance with archaeological, historical and aesthetic value. Such sites of interest are the village Maroulas, which is an important and rare example of the Middle Ages architecture in Crete, the old water mills at the now uninhabited old village Kato Myli, an example of a traditional use of the water in Crete, are still maintained.OTHER IMPORTANT SPECIES WITH MOTIVATION DPlants: Centaurea redempta, Ferulago thyrsiflora, Lomelosia albocincta (included in 3.3. by its synonym Scabiosa labocincta), Medicago strasseri, and Sesleria doerfleri are protected by Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81). Medigago strasseri is also included in the CORINE checklist of threatent plants.Lactuca acanthifolia (= Scariola acanthifolia) is found in Ydra, Cyclades, East Aegean Islands and only in SW Turkey out of Greece. Reptiles: All the species listed on section 3.3. are protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81) and by the Bern Convention, six some of them included annex II, strictly protected, and Tarentola mauritanica and Hemidactylus turcicus included in annex III. Natrix tesselata is included in the CORINE checklist of threatent animals. Amphibians: Bufo viridis and Hyla arborea kretensis are protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81) and by the Bern Convention.Mammals: Meles meles, Martes foina, Crocidura suaveolens, Erinaceus concolor (Synonym: Erinaceus europeus) and Mustela nivalis are protected bythe Bern Convention (annex III). The latter three are also protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81).

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. 2) Margaritoulis D. & M. Dretakis. 1991. Determination of nesting habitats of Caretta caretta in Greece. Final report to the EEC, October 1991. 3) 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. 4) Paragamian K. Unpublished data. 5) Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece. Unpublished data. 6) 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. 7) Georghiou K. 1995. Checklist of Endemic, Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece. Draft. University of Athens. (3.3, 3.4, 4.2) 8) 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.) 9) Grimmet R.F.A. & T.A. Jones. 1989. The Important Bird Areas in Europe. ICBP Technical Publication No. 9, p. 906. (3.2. a). 10) [CORINE BIOTOPES] (3.2. a, b).


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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level:


Cover [%]


Cover [%]


Cover [%]


5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites:

designated at national or regional level:

Type code

Site name


Cover [%]

IN06Faraggi Prassion-0.00
GR95Vrysina, Prassano Farangi Dimou Rethymnis*8.04

designated at international level:


Site name


Cover [%]

Other Faraggi Prassion-0.00
Vrysina, Prassano Farangi Dimou Rethymnis*8.04


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6.1 Body(ies) responsible for the site management:


6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:
No, but in preparation



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