Flora & fauna

The Crimean peninsula has approximately 2500 species of local wild-grown plants. The beautiful cascading Nikita botanical garden and park near Yalta has a collection of over 30,000 types of plants from different parts of the planet, some of which are included in the Red Book. The mountains have many different species of trees such as juniper, filbert, cornel, oak, hornbeam, alder, cypress, ash-tree, “dog-rose”, crab tress, pear, cherry plum. The mountains above Big Yalta are mostly covered by Crimean pine trees so the air is naturally purified and considered to have health benefits.

The Southern coast of Crimea has eternal blossom. During winter, wild daisies, the pale violet autumn crocus, tansy, snowdrops, hellebore, almonds, jasmine, honeysuckle and others make their appearance. The spring season brings flowers of wild almonds, cornel, gillyflower, euphorbia, Japanese quince, bagryanik, cherry plum, apricot, peach, roses, tulips and wistaria. The summer smells sweet as a magnolia, acacia, oleander and cherry laurel bloom. The fall brings medlar and roses.

The fauna of Crimea has 58 species of mammals and approximately 300 bird species. Among the small mammal species are field mice, gophers, jerboas, hamsters, shrews and bats. Squirrels, hares, foxes of a marten, polecats, caress, roes, deer and wild boars can also be found. On a rare occasion you may hear wolves. Stamps, hawks, falcons, woodpeckers, owls, black crows, jays, thrushes, bustards, strepets, pheasants, seagulls, petrels, dives, peganka and cormorants are widespread

Among the insects are ground beetles, karakurta (in the steppe), scolopendras. Reptiles are represented by non-venomous snakes and lizards. The marine life has over 270 species of red, green and brown seaweed, and non-stinging jellyfish. The Black Sea has dolphins, mullet, pelengas, croaker, a spiny dogfish, kambala and katran (a type of shark). Closer to the coast you can find small fish such as barabulka (mullet), stavrida, lufar, sea horse, sea needle, doggies, greenfinches, sea cats, foxes, flounder and ruffs. The sea is full of crab, mussels and mollusks including the famous rapana which is a favorite at local seafood restaurants.

All about Crimea

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