The massif of Dikti is the natural border between the Prefectures of Heraklion and Lasithi. It is an area of ca. 370 km 2 , mainly mountainous or semi-mountainous, with lowlands and settlements, mainly in the plateaus of Lasithi and Katharo. Two proposed Sites of Community Importance (pSCI) of the European Network NATURA 2000 are located in Dikti, namely “Oropedio Lasithiou – Katharo – Selena – Krasi – Selekano: GR 4320002” and “Omalos Viannou (Simi – Omalos): GR 4310006”, and a Special Protection Area (SPA) “Korifi Lazaros – Madara Diktis: GR 4320010”. A part of this region was designated as Wildlife Refuge in the framework of the LIFE – NATURE 1998 project on “Conservation of the Bearded Vulture in Greece” [Â4-3200/98/444] .
The unique diversity of the area and the existence of numerous caves support many species of fauna and flora, which are characterised by a high percentage of endemism. Moreover, the plateau of Katharo is one of the most important locations in Crete where fossils can be found. In total, 3 species of amphibians, 7 species of reptiles, 24 species of mammals, 175 species of birds and 67 endemic species and subspecies of plants occur in the area. In Dikti used to breed in the past 4 pairs of the Bearded Vulture, while today exist only 4 solitary individuals. In addition, in the mountainous complex of Dikti-Selena are also located 7 colonies of the Griffon Vulture, which host the biggest population of the species in Crete (110-140 individuals), 4 pairs of the Golden Eagle and 1-2 pairs of the Bonelli's Eagle.