|Σχόλιο για τις αξίες
||The lake of Kournas is the only natural freshwater lake in Crete. The whole freshwater system, including the lake, the marshes and Almyros stream and estuary in Georgioupolis, is one of the most important in the east Mediterranean region.Drapano peninsula is also a quite important undisturbed area, which has to be protected. The extended Euphorbia dendroides formations and the several patches of Phoenix theophrastii, make the place unique for Crete.The value of this site lies on:1) It consitutes one of a limited number of freshwater systems in Crete and, moreover one of the scarse systems with continual water supply. It is noteworthy that Lemna minor and Ulmus minor ssp. canescens are present only in this area in Crete. 2) It comprises a great variety of different biotopes and vegetation types, including a lake, springs, riparian vegetation and moist meadows as well as coastal marshes and an estuary and also phryganic vegatation, cliffs and rocks. It is worth noting that Euphorbia dendroides forms a very significant vegetation cover on the rocky east side of Drapano, unique for Crete.3) It is important for migratory birds.4) Its fauna is quite rich, hosting endemic inertebrates, legally protected amphibian and reptile species (and endemic subspecies) as well as protected mammals. Caretta caretta, a priority species of Annex II, is present in the site, although the combination of hardenned muddy sand and of the increased freshwater concentration in the sea near the estuary do not create a "friendly environment for the tortoise. The presence of Podarcis erhardii cretensis is important, as Crete is the southern limit of the distribution of the restricted population of the species. Also, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum ssp. creticum, included in section 3.2.c. as Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum, is a subspecies endemic to Crete.5) Regarding the flora, although Kournas has a poor wetland flora, the area has endemic or rare species (notably, Phoenix theophrastii).Notes:1) The possible presence of Spalax leucodon has also been reported, but our collection have not ascertained the presence of this species in Crete.2) Regarding the fish population of Kournas lake, most of the species have been imported into the lake (e.g., Cambusia affinis was imported in the past for the elimination of the mosquito populations). Only the youngs of Anguilla anguilla come to mature into the lake.OTHER IMPORTANT SPECIES WITH MOTIVATION DPlants: Pancratium maritimum is an important species of sandy beaches, with decreasing populations due to the destruction of its habitats. Colchicum macrophyllum is protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81).Lactuca acanthifolia (= Scariola acanthifolia) is found in Ydra, Cyclades, East Aegean Islands andonly in SW Turkey out of Greece. Brassica cretica ssp. cretica is a chasmophyte occurring only in C. and S. Lebanon out of Greece.