|Σχόλιο για τις αξίες
||The main element of the quality of the three island groups and the small islands and islets is their biodiversity which makes them important sites for conservation. Their interest is fundamental in view of their potential as study "laboratories" for speciation and as biological conservation phenomena. Field works as well as analysis of the floristic data have shown an impressive diversity in the flora of these islands. Although the number of plant species in Arki, Lipsi, Agathonisi, Pharmakonisi, Kalolimnos and Imia is limited, they share an exclusive contigent of species seeking their shelter. Each one of the small islets is characterized by its own flora and vegetation as designated by floristic composition, dominant species and plant coverage.It should also be noted that some species occur mainly on islets and they even show preference to the most isolated and exposed ones (e.g., Convolvulus oleifolius, Helichrysum orientale, Allium commutatum, Lavatera arborea, e.t.c.). For example, Lavatera arborea is dominant species on the Imia islets. These species have been termed "islet specialists" and some of them seem to base their existence in the area on islet population mainly, occurring in only few and small populations on the main islands. Once having reached an islet, some species may develop great populations, mainly because some otherwise common competitors or predators are lacking. In several cases, a species may develop on a islet a degree of dominance that it could never have attained in other places. Such are the cases of Silene holtzmannii (an Annex II priority species) recently found on Trypiti, of Malcolmia flexuosa on E. Aspronisi, of Didesmus aegyptius on W. Αspronisi in Lipsi group and of Ruta halepensis on Minaronisi, in Arki group. Anthemis scopulorum must also be mentioned, as it is an Aegean endemic which was found on Kalapodi, on Prassonisi and on the Imia islets. Matricaria macrotis (Motivation D in section 3.3) has a distribution restricted to Kalolimnos, Rodhos, Simi in Crete and to Marmaris peninsula.Other important species included in the IUCN 1993 Red Data Book in the category of threatened plants, are Romulea tempskyana (Rare in Greece), Muscari macrocarpum (Rare in Greece), Garidella nigellastrum (Vulnerable in Greece). A peculiar vegetation type has been observed on Pitta islet, dominated by Asphodeline lutea, a species common on the continental Greece but with a single presence in this area.The fauna of the island is scarsely known. The two reptile species, Coluber nummifer and Vipera xanthina, listed on section 3.3.) are protected by the Bern Convention and by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81). Finally, it should also be noted that the islands provide a shelter to the monk seal, Monachus monachus, and to Caretta caretta.In conclusion, the islands consist live museums of natural history that can and must be conserved and protected as a) important pieces of our natural inheritance; b) as natural ecosystems that should be investigated for a better understanding of the funtion of biotic and abiotic parameters in such extreme conditions; c) as live proofs of the richness and the diversity of the floraof the Greek area.