Overpicking threatens Greek herbs: officials

July 29, 2013
An Iraqi man weeds his patch of medicinal herbs in Baghdad on June 9, 2004. Forestry officials on the Greek island of Crete have slapped a five-year ban on the collection of a variety of wild herbs snipped to near-extinction, the state-run ANA agency said.

Forestry officials on the Greek island of Crete have slapped a five-year ban on the collection of a variety of wild herbs snipped to near-extinction, the state-run ANA agency said Monday.

The forestry department of Hania, one of the island's main towns, placed restrictions on picking sage, marjoram, oregano and sideritis, better known as Cretan mountain tea, in protected areas.

The department has outlawed the piecemeal uprooting of the plants until the end of 2018.

Special permission is required for commercial collection, and an allowance of up to 500 grammes is made "for personal use".

And Cretan dittany, a therapeutic plant prized since that is exclusive to the island, is off the table altogether.

"The mass collection of these aromatic plants, also for purposes of trade, threatens them with ," the forestry department said.

The herb-based Cretan diet has long been considered one of the healthiest in the Mediterranean basin and a contributing factor to the islanders' traditional longevity.

Explore further: Cretan tools point to 130,000-year-old sea travel

Related Stories

mtDNA study shows Minoans came from Europe not Africa

May 15, 2013

(Phys.org) —A new study conducted by a team of American and Greek researchers has found that the people of the ancient Minoan civilization living on the island of Crete most likely came from Europe. In their paper published ...

21,000 species at risk of extinction

July 2, 2013

A freshwater shrimp, an island-dwelling lizard and a pupfish from Arizona have been declared extinct, while nearly 21,000 species are at risk of dying out, an updated "Red List" showed.

Fat Malaysian orangutan put on diet

July 5, 2013

An obese orangutan has been put on a strict diet by Malaysian wildlife authorities after two decades of gorging on junk food handed out by tourists, a report said Friday.

Recommended for you

Secrets of a heat-loving microbe unlocked

September 4, 2015

Scientists studying how a heat-loving microbe transfers its DNA from one generation to the next say it could further our understanding of an extraordinary superbug.

Plants also suffer from stress

September 4, 2015

High salt in soil dramatically stresses plant biology and reduces the growth and yield of crops. Now researchers have found specific proteins that allow plants to grow better under salt stress, and may help breed future generations ...

Ancient walnut forests linked to languages, trade routes

September 4, 2015

If Persian walnut trees could talk, they might tell of the numerous traders who moved along the Silk Roads' thousands of miles over thousands of years, carrying among their valuable merchandise the seeds that would turn into ...

Huddling rats behave as a 'super-organism'

September 3, 2015

Rodents huddle together when it is cold, they separate when it is warm, and at moderate temperatures they cycle between the warm center and the cold edges of the group. In a new study published in PLOS Computational Biology, ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

wwqq
not rated yet Jul 29, 2013
Tragedy of the commons.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.