Crete has a varied fauna. There are certain subspecies of animals that are indigenous only in Crete, like the local wild goat, kri kri, and the Cretan tree frog. There are also various birds from a number of subspecies of the common hawk, to the grey heron. Finally, the sea life is fairly varied, and certain beaches in the south of the island offer protection to the caretta-caretta (sea turtle) during its reproduction period.
Due to its geographical location, even in relation to Crete, Lassithi presents a particular interest. The reason is because it is the eastern part of Crete and at the same time, the most southern part of Europe.
It presents local indigenous species of plants (not to be found in other parts of the island), as well as plants we can meet only in Asia or in Africa. Selakano with its pine forest, Katharo with its cypress forest, Selena with its "Azilakos" forest, the Ha Gorge, Thripti, the palm forest of Vai, the Chrissi island, the island of Koufonissi, Dionisades and the coastal zone of Ano Mirabello (Milatos, Faros Aforesmenou) are really unique regions. The tens of gorges (almost 40), the 6 plateaus (Lassithi, Katharo, Omalos Viannou, Limnakaros, Nissimos, Chandras) and more than 1300 cavern pits registered embrace the indigenous beauties of the fauna and flora of eastern Crete.
The declaration of biologists that the driest areas present greater number of species is really obvious in Lassithi. Amongst the 2000 indigenous plant species of Crete, just a few are not to be found in Lassithi, which are yet to be found in the other geographical departments of Crete or on the neighbouring islets