On September 2016 the Hellenic Institute of Speleological Research initiated a two-year project entitled “Conservation of the Cave Fauna of Greece” aiming to fully document the status and conservation needs of the cave fauna of Greece, raise awareness and assume targeted conservation initiatives for important cave sites and species. One of the key outputs of the project is the Cave Fauna of Greece Database (CFG), a free online data infrastructure that provides reliable information on the taxonomy, distribution, conservation status, and referenced literature for all cavernicolous animal species in Greece. Furthermore, it provides information on geography, protection status and the fauna of each cave, as well as the referenced literature.

CFG database is a comprehensive, dynamic and digitally-available reference for several user-groups: Research scientists, policy and decision-makers, the nature conservation community, the education community, and citizen scientists. It was developed and launched to serve as a basic tool for research and conservation policies of cave species and caves in Greece.



CFG database was compiled after gathering, critically evaluating and integrating all taxonomic and faunistic information for species recorded in the caves of Greece. It includes all species recorded up to 2018 and currently regarded as valid. A previous, Microsoft Access, version of the census updated up to 2003 and the related reports (Paragamian 2003a, Paragamian 2003b) were used as the basis for the new, more comprehensive database.

The database was checked for possible gaps in data, errors or inconsistencies in respect to the rules of zoological nomenclature, redundancy, and inconsistencies among parts. The taxonomic reference system was harmonized with the Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure (PESI, EU-nomen).

For each species, the following information is provided: scientific name and authorship; a map displaying the cave(s) location(s) recorded; higher taxonomy; distribution; distribution in caves of Greece; conservation status; protection status; links to IUCN red list, Fauna Europea & GBIF; species literature references. Species synonyms are only exceptionally provided as the user can see them at the linked databases.

For each cave, the following information is provided: The Greek name of the cave in Latin characters using the Greek – ISO 843 transliteration system; a map displaying the location; the cave name(s) used in literature; the closest settlement in the context of the 1/1/2011 administrative system established in Greece (Kallikratis reform, Greek Law 3852/2010); comments; the protection status; a referenced species list; cave literature references; species literature references.

CFG data are continuously updated and are summarised at Statistics. For more insights and code behind the data analysis visit our GitHub Page.


Navigation options

The user can navigate the CFG database through 3 themes: fauna, caves, and references.

A species can be found either by searching the name (or part of it) or by browsing through the taxonomic hierarchy to look for names of organisms within a group.

A cave can be found either by searching the name/synonym (or part of it) or by browsing through the administrative hierarchy.

The user can navigate from caves to species and vice versa through the names and the taxonomic and administrative hierarchy.

The literature for cave descriptions or species records can be searched either by an author’s name (or part of it) or by the year of publication.


Terms of use & Citation

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY License. The re-distribution of the entire CFG database or large parts of it is not permitted unless by prior written agreement. Data on species and caves are free to use on condition that they are cited. A recommended citation style is provided on each page.

The database as a whole is to be cited as follows: 

Paragamian, K., M. Poulinakis, S. Paragkamian, and I. Nikoloudakis. Cave fauna of Greece database - Hellenic Institute of Speleological Research. Available at https://database.inspee.gr/,  accessed (dd/mm/yyyy)



Any feedback on the content and usability of the database would be highly appreciated. Suggestions for improvements are also very welcome. Please contact CFG coordinator and editor, Kaloust Paragamian



CFG Database, a unique and powerful tool for research and conservation of the cave fauna of Greece, was developed within the framework of the project “Conservation of the Cave Fauna of Greece” funded by MAVA foundation and WWF Greece.  

CFG Database is developed and maintained by the Hellenic Institute of Speleological Research. The following open-source tools were used: Bootstrap, Code Igniter, Leaflet, OpenStreetMap contributors. The taxonomic reference system of CFG Database was harmonized with EU-nomen checklist, using the PESI Taxon Match Tool.


- Kaloust Paragamian: Gathering of literature, literature review, database design, data validation & harmonization, editing, and data uploading

- Manoussos Poulinakis: Database design and development, website development

- Savvas Paragkamian: Data cleansing and standardization, editing and data uploading, statistics

- Ioannis Nikoloudakis: Literature review, data collection and preparation for import 

- Dora Moulou: Data collection and preparation for import


Several colleagues were very generous with their time with discussions followed presentations of the database and helped us to improve its usefulness. They include:

Anastasios Legakis, Aris Parmakelis, Kostas Triantis (Biology Department-University of Athens),

Panagiotis Georgiakakis, Petros Lymperakis, Moysis Mylonas, Apostolos Trichas, Katerina Vardinogiannis (Biology Department-University of Crete, Natural History Museum of Crete),

Spyros Sfenthourakis (Department of Biological Sciences -University of Cyprus),

Panagiotis Dimopoulos (Biology Department-University of Patras),

Despina Vokou (Biology Department-University of Thessaloniki),

Christos Arvanitidis, Vasilis Gerovasileiou, George Kotoulas (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research),

Anna Kagiabaki (Department of Environment, Region of Crete),

Ioannis Mitsopoulos (Directorate of Biodiversity and Natural Environment Management, Ministry of Environment & Energy),

Giorgos Catsadorakis, Ioli Christopoulou, Thanos Giannakakis, Demetre Karavellas, Spyros Kotomatas, Constantinos Liarikos, Natasha Maragou, Panagiota Maragou, Theodota Nantsou (WWF Greece),

Eva Hernández (WWF Spain)