You can find detailed instructions from the Ministry of Environment (127557_2178_2015.pdf) for how to make an application and obtain a permission for research, investigation, photography, cinematography, collecting, capturing and exporting from Greece animals and plants (including butterflies). SEE HERE DETAILS


1. In Greece today it is known that there are 236 species of butterflies. In THE THREATENED SPECIES you can see the full list of these and the protection status:

  • of the 29 species included in the RED BOOK, LEGAKIS, ANASTASIOS: Invertebrates. In: LEGAKIS A. and P. Marangou (edited), The Red Book of Endangered Animals of Greece. Hellenic Zoological Society. Athens 2009, which describes in detail the dangers that threaten them.
  • of the 42 species included in Presidential Decree 67/1981
  • of the 1 species (Parnassius apollo) included in CITES
  • of the 3 species included in 92/43 HABITATS DIRECTIVE ANNEX II
  • of the 9 species included in 92/43 HABITATS DIRECTIVE ANNEX IV
  • of the 37 species included in the RED LIST STATUS EUROPE (2010)
  • of the 37 species included in the EUROPEAN RED LIST OF BUTTERFLIES EU27 (2010)
  • of the species (Muschampia cribrellum) that was last discovered on Mount Olympus and Oiti and has not yet been included in a National List for protection, but is already included in the above lists f) and g).

2. The species of butterflies that are in the RED BOOK (the collection is also mentioned as a threat), in PD 67/1981, in CITES, in 92/43 HABITATS DIRECTIVE ANNEX II and ANNEX IV but also in the RED LIST STATUS EUROPE (2010) and EUROPEAN RED LIST OF BUTTERFLIES EU27 (2010) should not be collected and it is required by our laws to protect their populations.

3. It should be borne in mind that the Monitoring should not in any case be falsified, by allowing the collection and at the same time conducting the Monitoring programs. During the execution of the Monitoring works, the number of individuals of all species is recorded without killing the individuals of the butterflies, in order to assess the condition of their populations, ie whether it increases, decreases or remains stable. This long-term process is an important tool for the protection of species, in order to identify the locations where the species exist and to take the necessary measures to protect them after recording.

4. As a rule, applicants only ask to collect and the status of the species’ populations is not their first priority. Typical is the case of the very rare Muschampia cribrellum on Mount Olympus (which was collected without any Permit and export license from Greece) and from the local population which collected 2 individuals in 2016, 17 individuals in 2017, but also relatively recently appeared to be sold at auction on ebay 1 individual from Olympus (with reported collection date 13 VII 2014). The auction is still posted on the seller’s website:

5. The collection, as it is usually formally requested, of 5-10 individuals of each species being collected indiscriminately per region (or the most common for the whole territory), is in fact a true HECATOMB for the species of butterflies, which with the use of modern digital methods of photography, identification and recording can and must stop.

6. The protection of species must be a priority for all of us. Under no circumstances should a collection permit be issued unless the excellent and improving condition of the population has been attested first.

7. For the protection of all species, the licensed collection should take place only at the end of the life of the adults and only when the eggs have been confirmed in the host plants.

8. For the species, which are not included in the above list of endangered species, could, but only in exceptional cases (and of course not for the enrichment of showcases in Museums) and only with the conditions described below, the collection be allowed:

  • Limited number of species (for specific and predetermined species at a time and 1-2 individuals per species).
  • With the obligatory submission by the interested parties of works or other data, which will prove the good condition of the populations of the species, which they intend to collect in this area.
  • In any case, the collection will take place only at the end of the adult life and only when the eggs have been confirmed in the host plants and with the presence and control of the qualified staff.
  • Usually only some other additional special conditions are included in the collection permits for the information of the local authorities and the Managing Bodies, etc., but they are usually not fully implemented and the collection is not carried out in the presence of the staff (who is appointed to control and monitor the implementation of the leave) all the days of collection and all the hours of the day (ie even outside the working hours of the staff).
  • Therefore, the presence of the staff (who will control and monitor) is required throughout the collection and outside the working hours of the staff. All collected individuals should be photographed on the spot immediately after collection and the coordinates should be accurately counted.
  • The photographic material that will document the collection (on site) should be immediately available to the Managing Authority and the Ministry that granted the permit in order to have a direct and accurate knowledge of the species and locations where the collection takes place.
  • It is noted that usually the unlicensed individuals collected of the items are exported from the territory and without the special permit provided for export. The collected persons should be photographed on the spot, by the inspection staff, and it will be easy to check that they were exported with the required permission.
  • There should always be the commitment of the applicants to mention the licenses, which they have received competently from the authorities in Greece, in any publications in scientific journals (based on the collected people, etc.) so that the work in the scientific journals is always accompanied by the license granted for the specific collection activity, etc.