When travelling abroad we have a tendency to take the local culture for granted. It’s our holiday after all; we’re supposed to be relaxing by the sea and eating out every night. Sometimes, however, you may find that you learn something interesting, exciting and life changing while on your holiday.
Whether you’ve taken a trip out to the ruins of the Knossos, or whether you’ve witnessed traditional Crete dancing and music, learning something new, such as the different wild life in Crete, can be very interesting!
Crete is teeming with vibrant wildlife. From the shores of its golden sandy beaches, to the stunning rocky mountain ranges adorning the island, and the best part? A lot of them are easy to see!
The Kri Kri is one of the more common native animals of Crete. A type of mountain goat, the Kri Kri are believed to have been brought over from Persia over 1000 years ago, making them an honorary member of the Crete island.
Though there are many wild animals exploring the islands stunning scenery, due to the removal of their habitats, a lot of the native wildlife of Crete are in danger of becoming extinct. In 1962 the Samaria Gorge National Park placed the Kri Kri under their protection. To help with this, population programs have been undertaken on Dia and Thodorou to help prevent the Kri Kri from mating with other species of goat. Thanks to their efforts, today the Kri Kri population are still thriving.
Moorish Wall Gecko
It’s common to see lizards and geckos in warm countries and Crete is no different. The Moorish Wall Gecko is a charming little creature spanning 16cm in length and enjoying the comfort of artificial lights where it can capture it’s favourite food source; insects.
Common in many European countries, the Moorish Wall Gecko has suction pads on its feet allowing the gecko to easily climb up walls and rocky surfaces. If you find yourself strolling around the island at night, you may come across these harmless geckos though don’t expect them to stick around for very long!
Balking Green Lizard
You’re not likely to miss this brightly coloured lizard. Painted a shocking bright green, the Balking Green Lizard is the largest in Crete measuring 45cm in length. Enjoying the sun on the rocky mountains, these harmless lizards can be found in many areas of Crete.
A diurnal lizard, you don’t need to worry about stepping on one of these shy creatures on your relaxing evenings out. One fact about the Balking Green Lizard you may not know; the female lays between 6-20 eggs which hatch within 30 days!
Of course there are many more wonderful and exciting animals in Crete such as the rainbow of colourful fish you can swim amongst and the stunning birds you can listen sing from the coast. As frequent visitors of Crete, we feel a deep connection with the local wildlife and have taken steps to help the people of Crete preserve some of their more endangered species such as the Loggerhead Turtle and the Bearded Vulture.