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Plants and Animals


Skopelos VegetationSkopelos VegetationPhoto:Public Domain

Skopelos is one of the greenest islands in the Aegean, as it has many species of flowers, trees and shrubs. The vegetation on Skopelos consists mainly of Aleppo pine, holly oak, holm oak, maquis, fruit trees and groups of olive trees. The pine forests have replaced the oak forests that once existed on Skopelos. Pine was much more suitable because of the shipbuilding activities.

In April and May, Skopelos is covered with an exuberant carpet of flowers, including freesias, orchids, irises, poppies and lilies. Herbs grow on Skopelos every season, chamomile in June, oregano in July, sage in August, crocuses in October, rosemary and laurel all year round.

Poppy, SkopelosPoppy, SkopelosPhoto: Purshi CC 3.0 no changes made

Other edible herbs and spices are wild cabbage, white watercress, dill, fennel and nettle. On the mountain slopes, wild asparagus, sorrel, spinach, fireweed, Euphorbia acanthothamnos, broomweed, tree heather, Judas tree, jumping cucumber and milk thistle also grow.

The Oriental plane with its large pink flowers grows mainly in ravines and valleys. Sea fennel grows between the rocks near the sea in some places.


Skopelos has a diverse fauna - including around 60 endemic species and migratory birds. There are several birds of prey, the most common being Eleonora's falcon, the dwarf owl and the buzzard. Kestrels, snake eagles and sparrow hawks are also sometimes seen. Throughout the island, the hooded crow can be seen, here and there some grey herons and kingfishers and, more generally, cormorants and herring gulls, which are mainly seen along the coast.

Eleonora's Falcon, SkopelosEleonora's Falcon, SkopelosPhoto: Charles J Sharp CC 4.0 no changes made

The Northern Sparades are one of the most important habitats of the Mediterranean monk seal, an endangered species due mainly to harmful human activities. Land mammals on Skopelos include pine marten, stone marten, bats, hares, brown rats and mice. The Erinaceus concolor, with a white patch on its chest, is a species of hedgehog that is related to the Eastern European hedgehog. Private individuals have brought fallow deer to the island and there are quite a few feral cats around human habitations.

Monk Seal, SkopelosMonk Seal, SkopelosPhoto: Atsoukali CC 4.0 no changes made

Skopelos is home to a large number of reptiles and amphibians. The Balkan box turtle can be found near fresh water, together with the Balkan lake frog, the (European) tree frog and the common or brown toad, although this habitat is slowly disappearing due to various negative environmental developments. The Taurian lizard is regularly seen in daylight during warm weather and the European tjitjak moves around the island at night. A larger lizard is the giant emerald lizard. Various species of snakes can be found on Skopelos: lizard snake, leopard snake, arrow snake, grass snake and a viper species.

Giant Emerald Lizard, SkopelosPhoto: Evripidis75 CC 4.0 no changes made

Skopelos has several species of butterflies, including the swallowtail butterfly, Jasius butterfly or Pasha, Cleopatra, atalanta (admiral butterfly or number butterfly), lesser kingfisher, cabbage white, Greek firefly, goldfinch and chamois.

In the sea around Skopelos, with a little luck, you can see dolphins and even whales, including the common dolphin, the striped dolphin, the pilot whale and the sperm whale.



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Last updated May 2024
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