Greece - Flora and fauna

Of the 4,992 species of higher plants recorded in Greece, about 742 are endemic to the country. Many pharmaceutical plants and other rare plants and flowers considered botanical treasures flourish in Greece. Vegetation varies according to altitude. From sea level to 460 m (1,500 ft), oranges, olives, dates, almonds, pomegranates, figs, grapes, tobacco, cotton, and rice abound. From 460 to 1,070 m (1,500–3,500 ft) are forests of oak, chestnut, and pine. Above 1,070 m (3,500 ft), beech and fir are most common.

Fauna are not plentiful, but bear, wildcat, jackal, fox, and chamois still exist in many sparsely populated areas. The wild goat (agrimi), which has disappeared from the rest of Europe, still lives in parts of Greece and on the island of Crete. Migratory and native birds abound and there are more than 250 species of marine life. Natural sponges are a main export item.

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