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Jacques Zafran discovered the island of Crete forty years ago, when he was working in a French laboratory specializing in mountain flora. Since then, he has been in love with the island. When his Professor offered him the choice to study flora species either on Corsica or Crete, Mr. Zafran chose Crete and has not looked back since.
Mr. Zafran has spent the last 40 years of his life studying and cataloging the flora of the mountainous landscapes of Crete. The Professor has a total collection of 8,000 species of plants, including 600 species that now exist only in Crete. Recently, Mr.Zafran, who is a professor at the University of Marseilles, made a presentation about his work at the Chania Orthodox Seminar. Professor Zafran said he has found greater biodiversity in the mountainous region of Crete than in valleys. This is because the overgrazing of the valleys and human activity have provoked ecological harmful effects.
He has estimated that 150 species of flora, including 10 varieties never recorded before, are endemic to the island of Crete and are found nowhere else in the world. Professor Zafran also expressed his fear that many unique species of Cretan flora will extinct within a decade unless urgent measures are taken.