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Crete Fauna

Much of the same facts can be applied to the fauna as to the flora, since the development of the fauna depends on environmental factors as well as altitude and temperature. Therefore, we shall classify the animals and the birds, which have their habitat in Crete and more precisely in the prefecture of Rethymnon, according to the zones of altitude. In the coastal area and primarily on the rocky shores the famous sea gull nests as well as the falcon (Falco eleonore), which comes from Africa to Crete during the summer months. Furthermore the well-known sea turtle Caretta caretta lays its eggs on the sandy beaches.

In the area of flat land, that is, in the valleys and on low hills, you can find hares, weasels, badgers, hedgehogs, voles (Apodeus sylvaticus-creticus) and bats as well as birds such as sparrows (Passer domesticus), goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), swallows (Delichon urbica), carrion crows (Corvus corone), linnets (Fringila coelembs) and many others. The same species of animals and birds can also be found in the semi-mountainous area, as well as certain species of predatory birds such as the crow (Corvus corax) and the blackbird (Turbus merula).

The "mavropetritis" (Falco eleonorae), the eagle imperial, (Aquila reliaca), the royal eagle (Hieraaetous penatus), use the area for their prey during the summer or during the winter. Amongst the migratory birds passing by the island we can distinguish "fidaetos = the snake eagle" (Girgaetus gallicus), "Kalamokirkos" (Circus aeroginosus), "Valtokirkus" (Circus cyaneous), while the greatest colony of the red jackdaw (Phyrocorax phyrocorax) on Crete is traced in the ravine of Cha, and the "Tyto" (Tyto alba) is traced at an altitude of over 1000 metres.

The seal Monachus - monachus and the sea - turtle Careta - careta, as well as the majority of the 14 species of harmless reptiles of Crete, co - exist, with or without any difficulty, in the marine or terrestrial environment of Lassithi

However, the realm of all predatory birds such as the harrier eagle (Gypaetus barbatus) and all the other above-mentioned species is the mountainous area. There, the Cretan wild goat (Capra aegagrus) and the Cretan wild cat (Felix silvestris), which are both in danger of extinction, have their habitat.