In terms of biodiversity, Greece is one of the richest countries of the European Union. Its diverse features, ranging from high mountains to the deepest waters of the Mediterranean - including a 16,000-km-long coastline and some 10,000 islands - combine with a variable climate generating a great range of habitat niches and a spectacular flora and fauna.
Greece hosts some 6,600 taxa of vascular plants with the highest number of endemics in Europe (approximately 1,450 taxa, which are 22% of the total indigenous flora).
The fauna comprises 115 mammal species, 12 of which are marine, 446 bird, 22 amphibian and 64 reptile species. Moreover, 162 freshwater and 476 marine fish species are hosted in Greece's waters. Some 30,000-50,000 invertebrates are also present, exhibiting a very high degree of endemism, exceeding 50% in some groups.
At present, the Natura 2000 network consists of 425 sites, covering around 4,200,000 hectares, which represent 27.2% of the total land and 6.1% of the total marine area of the country.
There are six IUCN Members in Greece: the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (HSPN), the Elliniki Etairia for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, the Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal (MOm), WWF Greece, the Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climatic Change, and the freshly new member Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP).