The great variety of habitats of the island including salt lakes, lagoon, rural cultivated areas of low tension and meadows, areas with brushwood, rocky soil, sand dunes, sea coves in combination with the limited use of pesticides, the extended use of land for free pasture and the low settlement density, favors the presence of rich fauna. Moreover, its geographic location, on birds’ migratory route, makes it a suitable rest and shelter spot for many of them. This fact, gives the opportunity to many fans of bird-watching to enjoy their favorite activity.
The wetland of Diapori as well as the lake complex of Chortarolimni, Alyki and Asprolimni (covering an area of about 1.8 hectares and integrated in the NATURA 2000 Network) are transit and resting zones of migratory birds. About 60 bird species have been recorded of which many are protected due to its endangered condition. Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus ruber), little egrets (Ergetta garzetta), European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), pied avocets (Recurvirostra avosetta) and birds of prey such as the Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus), the Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae), the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and the Lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni), the beautiful small falcon which arrives at spring and in the end of summer leaves to warmer climate, are some of the species met there. Another rare and protected species wintering and reproduced on Limnos is the Ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), while at the wetland of Diapori, among others, white storks (Ciconia ciconia) find shelter. Other bird species met on the island are: the whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus), the glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), the little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), the common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), the mute swan (Cygnus olor), etc. Moreover, there are large populations of the endemic species of chukar (Αlectoris chukar), the preservation of which, in spite their hunting which is strictly controlled, is owed to the presence of large cultivated areas and the lack of enemies such as the fox and the ferret. However, in the last years a population burst of the endemic hooded crow (Corvus corone cornix), is observed, which plunders the eggs of chukar and causes major harm to the cultures. For that reason, there has been an effort to control this population through hunting policy.
Limnos also hosts many species of serpents, non-venomous in their majority, such as the large whip snake (Dolichophis caspius), the grass snake (Νatrix natrix), the sand boa (Eryx jaculus) and Dahl’s whip snake (Platyceps najadum), while the Eastern Montpellier Snake (Malpolon insignitus) is with weak venom. Here you will also find the European Glass Lizard (Psendopus apodus) the completely harmless legless lizard resembling to snake and the snake-eyed lizard (Ophisops elegans), which has no obvious eyelids. The Balkan terrapin (Mauremys rivulata or caspica) lives in lakes, marshes and salt lakes, while during hiking you might come across the Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca). The Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) and the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) also live in the island’s sea waters.
Among the island’s fauna there are also rabbits which grow in high populations and can be met even in the roads. Finally, typical mark of the island’s capital, Myrina, is the beautiful deer, the well-known fallow deer, living free in its castle. In 1970, three deer were transported to the island, a female and two males, as a gift from the island of Rhodes. These have been reproduced and today about 100-150 deer live here.