corfu island
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The wildlife in Corfu island (Kerkyra) Greece

Corfu ( Kerkyra )An enchanting island for the visitor interested in nature in all its guises, is a long irregular shaped island in the Ionian sea, it is about 53km. long, 24km. wide in the north and 4km. near its southern end. It has a total area of 592 square kilometres and a coastline of 217 kilometres. There is a permanent population of approx. 110,000, which swells dramatically during the summer months due to tourism. Corfu Island is blessed with a Maritime / Subtropical climate i.e. mild winters and relatively cool summers compared to mainland Greece. The annual rainfall varies between 700mm and 1400mm, the majority of this in the winter months. Snow and frost are rarities on the island even though the Albanian and Greek mountains a few miles away have a covering of snow for most of the winter. As a result of this, humidity is high which gives rise to lush vegetation, which in turn harbours a great variety of wildlife.
The terrain is greatly varied with at least six peaks over 500meters the highest being Mount Pandokrator at 906 meters. On the northern slopes there is maquis, the typical Mediterranean terrain i.e. rocky with low scrub and grass etc. There is rich pasture/tillable land like the Ropa Valley which includes a golf course, coastal plains with salt water lagoons and large disused salt pans and the remainder of the Island comprising undulating hills carpeted in endless olive groves.
Historically part of Corfu was covered with natural oak forests but these were exploited for ship building by the Venetians whose ship yards can still be seen at Gouvia, and later the British and French took advantage of these resources. However it was the Venetians who convinced the Corfiots to plant olive trees, rewarding them with payment of 36 drachmas for every ten trees planted and also allowing them to pay their taxes in oil. Obviously a very successful venture as today the island is home to over 3 Million olive trees.

corfu wildlife

corfu island