The natural landscape of Mykonos consists mainly of dry vegetation elements composed mainly by brushwood, scattered elements of maquis vegetation and large uncovered areas with stone bedrock.
The "lunar landscape" of Mykonos hides a lot more life than one may assumed judging from the first sight: the naked hills hold multiple small "treasures" away from the eyes of the average visitor. In scattered, heaven sent rocks and stone walls, a large lizard with thorny appearance is the "trademark" of Mykonos -More than any pelican. It was from this "Mykonian lizard", widespread in the land of Ionia, that the crocodile of the Nile was named after.
When the Ionians arrived in Egypt, they compared the form of true crocodiles (which until then were called "champsai") to that of the lizards in their homeland and gave them the same name as Herodotus reports.
The name "land crocodile" precede the naming "crocodile" in big reptiles of Nile. In Mykonos, even today, the "land crocodile" is called "krokodeilaki" or "korkodeilas" and its presence is obvious in the island, like in the time when Tournefort observed it and presented it in his classic work of Relation d 'un Voyage (1st Volume p.120.).
Most observations about the fauna of Mykonos concern both the island itself, as well as the smaller islands of the same cluster. We have a better and more complete picture of the complex Delos, Rinia, Small and Big Rematiaris, while little evidence is known about the other group of islands, Stapodia and Tragonisi. (From older article of Achilles Dimitropoulos, Natural History Museum of Goulandri). In contrast to all above, the remaining fauna of the island is not rich and many of the native species are threatened with extinction. This is due to the arid climate of the island combined with the geological, hydrogeological, soil, hydrological characteristics and the impact of man.
The Mediterranean seal (monachus monachus) which is endangered has its nest on rocky shores. In the sea area of Panormos and in Tragonisi (Gerbian and Anagnostopoulou, 1992), which is located east of Mykonos, Mediterranean seals have occasionally been observed. On phryganic farmland and Cycladic benches you could meet hedgehogs, black-rats and ferrets.
The geographical position of Mykonos favors the concentration of many migratory birds during their movements over the eastern Mediterranean to and from Africa, mainly due to being a focal point of several "migration corridors". The last two years the two dams of the island in Marathi and Fokos are becoming unique wetlands.
In the inland of the island there are traditionally scattered farmsteads, the so-called "villages", which are grouped into natural basins where underground water and arable land is secured. A great concentration of "villages" in the relatively fertile plateau in the east of the island is the picturesque Ano Mera.
The "villages" (farmhouses) of Mykonos, reflect a special aesthetic perception, while being white, they make striking contrast with the gray granite rocks, the endless stone walls, the prickly pears and the reeds.