The forest lies at the south-eastern end of Mount Rodopi. The site is a mosaic of mature forest, meadows, small areas of cultivation and rivers.
This is a very important site for breeding and wintering raptors with 36 species recorded. Breeding birds include eight of the 21 species that are restricted in Europe to the Mediterranean biome. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (3-6 wintering individuals), Aquila heliaca (breeding, 2-4 wintering individuals), Falco naumanni.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats are from intensive forest management, afforestation with conifer plantations and fire. The use of poisoned baits to kill raptors and the recent building of a military camp are also threats. A core area of 7,258 ha is strictly protected. The area is a candidate SAC.
National Partial International Partial7,200 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Dadia-Lefkimi-Lykofis Forest, 7,200 ha). 1,186 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Zioga-Kalivia/Dadias, Soufliou, 1,187 ha). 7,465 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Dasos Dadias- Soufli, 7,465 ha).