Kefalonia Flora and Fauna

Kefalonia is a mountainous island with Mediterranean vegetation. Evergreen bushes such as holy and oleaster grow on its soil. Kefalonian fir trees, cypress trees, arbutus, holy, and lentisk thrive on mount Ainos, which occupies the largest part of the island.

The flora of the island includes rare kinds of flowers, such as the mauve lilies Paeonia mascula-russi, the Poa cephalonica, the Saponaria aenesia, and the Scutellaria cephalonica. Ordinary flowers such as violets and saponaria also grow there.

The fauna of the island is comparatively poor. It consists of foxes, rabbits, weasels, ferrets, porcupines, and birds of prey. The locals claim that wild horses live on the top of Ainos. A rare and protected species of the Mediterranean seal lives on the rugged and inaccessible shores.

Of particular note are two peculiar phenomena about the animals of the island. Near the “Agia Dynati” mountain, some goats and rabbits have gilt, or silver-plated, teeth due to the make up of the soil. Another rarity concerns the goats of the island.

According to the ancient historian Claudius Aelianus, the goats could hold out without water for sixth months, living only on the humid breeze. This has been confirmed by modern-day shepherds.