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21.5% of animal, plant and fungal species in Greece under extinction threat

21.5% of animal, plant and fungal species in Greece are under threat of extinction, a Red List prepared by the Natural Environment and Climate Change Organization (OFYPEKA/NECCA) has shown.

The Red List with 11,500 endangered species was compiled by OFYPEKA and published on the occasion of the European NATURA 2000 Day, on May 21, 2024.

Of the total species in Greece, approximately 21.5% were assessed as threatened.

  • 1,213 species were classified as Vulnerable (VU), 775 were classified as Endangered (EN), while 453 species are considered Critically Endangered (CR).

Among the evaluated species, approximately 3,000 are endemic species of Greece, i.e. species that are not found in any other country in the world. These species will gradually be included in the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

It is worth noting that the previous attempt to evaluate the threatened species of our country was made in 2009, and at that time approximately 1,000 species of animals and 300 species of plants were evaluated.

The Red List is the largest database (catalog at redlist.necca.gov.gr) for Greek biodiversity and constitutes an emblematic project for the protection and management of Greek nature, offering, at the same time, to all interested parties access to scientific knowledge about tens of thousands of species of flora and fauna.

As part of the initiative, the Natural Environment and Climate Change Organization created a network of 140 Greek and foreign scientists, who with the cooperation and support of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Hellenic Zoological Society ( EZE) and the Hellenic Botanical Society (EBE), evaluated thousands of species of animals, plants and fungi and classified them in categories of risk of extinction.

Globally, 28% of the species assessed by the IUCN are under threat.

In the case of Greece, this percentage amounts to 21.5%, of all the species evaluated in the context of the Red List. One in five species assessed, that is, is threatened with extinction.

Regarding the individual taxonomic groups, 18.7% of the plants, 22.6% of the animals and 34.8% of the evaluated fungi belong to a threatened status.

In particular, 28.3% of birds, 31.3% of mammals, 13.3% of reptiles, 34.6% of amphibians and 21.5% of invertebrates are threatened with extinction.

Some species, thanks to the implementation of protection and conservation measures, are no longer directly threatened with extinction in the country and have been moved to the category of low risk (LC). Typical examples of these are: the sea turtle Caretta Caretta and the Kestrel (Falco naumanni)

The Red List data are a valuable tool for biodiversity conservation, as targeted conservation actions and protection policies can be designed based on them to preserve Greece’s rich natural heritage and promote the sustainable management of its natural resources resources.

All the species of the Red List of Greece were evaluated according to the criteria of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), while all the endemic species of Greece that were evaluated in the framework of the project will gradually become part of the global red list of threatened species of the IUCN.
European Natura 2000 Day

Greece participates in this network, which acts as a life shield for endangered species of Greek flora and fauna and for areas of high environmental value. The Natura 2000 network also functions as a mechanism that takes care of the necessary balance between human activity and nature.

website: OFYPEKA/NECCA

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