|The National Forest of Mt. Oiti is regarded as one of the best national forests of Greece, both in terms of ecological importance and of status of management. It was founded in 1966 for the conservation of the mountain's unique flora and wildlife in general. Recently, the national park has been designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds. As shown on the section of "other important species", until now many greek endemic taxa have been included in the flora of the site, some of them being protected by the greek law. Furthermore, many balkan endemics are found in the area of the site. The fauna of the site is also of great importance, as it includes species of Annex II (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica, Aquila chrysaetos, Bubo bubo etc.), an endemic lizard (Podarcis erchardi erchardi) and some endemic invertebrates.The most striking characteristic of the wildlife of the site in question is the existence of a great variety of habitats in a rather small area. Several types of habitats have been noted, three of them not included in Annex I of Directive 92/43/EEC. The highest peaks are typical of the central greek alpine zone and it is at those elevations that the majority of the endemic taxa grow. Of great ecological importance is the plateau at Leivadies with some types of grasslands and an amazing variety of plants and insects and with the temporary pond, which provides niche to an important population of Triturus alpestris. In addition, the Pinus nigra association is of great ecological importance because of its isolation from the rest P. nigra forests of Central Greece. The caves formed in the mountain are of spilaiologic interest, especially the cave of Anemotrypa; yet, a great deal of research has to be done in order to provide the necessary information for the evaluation of the importance of those caves. The mountain of Oiti is closely related to Greek history, both modern and ancient. It was in that area that an important part of the fights during the greek revolution (1821-1827) and the German occupation (1941-1944) took place. It was during the late Byzantine period that Ypati met its greatest development - the impressive monastery of Agathonas was constructed during that era. Finally, it was on the highest peak of Oiti that Hercule was supposed to have put an end to his life and to have given his weapons to Philoctitis. Temples for Hercule and Diana are believed to have been built there but no remains of them can be seen nowadays. In the monastery of Agathonas there is a small Natural History museum. This museum provides basic information on the wildlife of mountain Oiti, thus contributing to the environmental awareness of the public.
OTHER IMPORTANT SPECIES WITH MOTIVATION DPLANTS: Asperula lutea, Asperula oetaea, Chaerophyllum heldreichii, Cirsium mairei (rare, IUCN 1993), Genista millii, Viola poetica, are greek endemic taxa that are protected by the Presidential Decree 67/81.Allium phthioticum, Astragalus lacteus are balkan endemic taxa protected by the Presidential Decree 67/81. Barbarea sicula is included in the IUCN list in the category of threatened plants as vulnerable. Alyssum doefleri is a balkan endemic with Oiti being its southernmost station and it is protected by the Presidential Decree 67/81. This species is protected by the Presidential Decree 67/81 and considered vulnerable in Greece and in Europe (IUCN, 1993). Helictotrichon aetolium, Knautia magnifica, Minuartia stellata, Poa thessala, are taxa endemic to the Balkan peninsula. Alyssum pulvinare, is a balkan endemic, the main distribution of which is in Romania and Bulgaria. The alpine population of Oiti is of unknown origin and is unique in Greece (and in Europe). Linum punctatum ssp. pycnophyllum are taxa of east-mediterranean distribution, so that Greece is the only european country where they are found. ANIMALS:Dryomys nitedula Sciurus vulgaris Triturus alpestris, Bufo viridis, Rana graeca, Lacerta viridis, Malpolon monspessulanus, Podarcis muralis, Podarcis erchardi, Coronella austriaca, are vertabrate species which are protected by the Presidential Decree 67/81. Agrodiaetus admetus Parnassius Apollo, Thersamonia thetis, are invertebrate species, which are protected by the Presidential Decree 67/81. C.|