Flora and Fauna

The Parnassos National Park is characterized by a wealth of flora and plant species with significant scientific value and has long been attracting the interest of many botanists (Heldreichi, Halascy, Guicciardi, Gustavsson, Regel, Orphanides, Quezel, Contadriopoulos, et al.) as well as of amateurs.
The dominant tree of the forested areas is the Greek fir (Abies cefhalonica).The Park is the home of a large number of plant species, the majority of which grow on the highest peaks of Parnassos. In the fir forests there are many species of blackthorns, hawthorns and junipers, found individually or in small groups, while in the north-eastern side of the mountain there are clusters of black pine trees.
The area’s flora consists of 619 species and 153 sub-species which also include 10 varieties.Most of the species in the plant list fall under the categories of aromatic, medicinal and poisonous species, whilst a lot of them possess valuable healing qualities.
The geographic position of the area, the diverse orography, the geological composition of the subsoil, the climatic micro and macro environments, the geo-historical events and the human factor have contributed to the shaping of the area’s plant character.
The natural environment of Parnassos is the heritage of a flora, which according to Homer was so dense that even the sun and the rain could not penetrate.Based on special studies, we can categorize today’s vegetation into:low vegetation above the edges of the forest where Abies cephalonica grows, up to the peak of Parnassos that consists of shrubs, brushwood and herb species;
and forest vegetation which includes the forests of Greek fir, black pine and deciduous oaks.The lowest edges of the latter begin at 600 meters approximately, while its highest edges reach as high as 1800 meters. At this point it’s worth noting the existence of Paeonia parnassica, which is found at the forest’s borders mainly in the interspace of fir.
The bush vegetation includes plant formations, especially under the former part and up to the feet of Parnassos.
The fauna consists of animals commonly found in the Greek nature such as the fox, the badger, the rabbit, the squirrel and other species of rodents and insectivorous animals.The jackal, the wild bore, the beech marten are rare, while the wolf is even rarer and the roe deer is almost extinct.
The Park’s avifauna is dominated by species inhabiting forests such as partridges, woodpeckers, black woodpeckers, ring ouzels, alpine accentors, rodents such asMediterranean turtles, wild lizards, adders and amphibians such as frogs.
Outside the dense forests however, there are still small numbers of griffons, eagles and smaller vultures which include:griffon vultures, eagle owls, lammergeyers (in 1989, there were 35 pairs throughout Greece), golden eagles and occasionally Bonelli’s eagles and hawks (in 1983, there were 150 throughout Greece).Most of these species are under protection.
Parnassos National Park
The sad realization of the destructive consequences of human activity on the natural environment, resulted in the implementation of protective measures in some areas, where the natural environment consists of rare flora and wild fauna.
With a view to save, improve and increase the flora and wild fauna, maintain the geomorphologic formations, while at the same time develop the tourism, protect the scenic beauty and conduct scientific studies, Law C.L. 856/1937 was passed in 1937 which provisioned the establishment of five National Parks throughout Greece.
Pursuant to this law, the selected areas are subject to conservation, in order to protect, improve and increase the flora and wild fauna, and preserve the geomorphologic formations, while developing tourism activities, protecting the natural scenery and conducting scientific studies.
In the immediate vicinity of the Park there are some remarkable archaeological sites such as the Korikio Andro (Korycian Cave).
The official website of the Parnassos National Park is: www.parnassosnp.gr

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