Amazing photo of the unique lagoon-within-lagoon system fo the Koronissia islets in the center of the Amvrakikos Gulf (photo from: https://www.driverstories.gr/en)
Amvrakikos Wetlands, Northwest Greece
I am privileged and honoured to be a small part of the history of conservation in the Amvrakikos Gulf (one of the largest wetlands and top wildlife sites in Greece). Through this short blast to the past, I just want to recall some momments...from some rather randomly found-and-scanned shots I found.
My first birding visits were in 1984 (I have cousins in Preveza...), then in early 1985 with the Hellenic Ornithological Society begun a wonderful time for many young Greek naturalists - the Dalmatian Pelican wardening programme (I'll try to discuss that time in another post...and to find those old photos...). I was a very young birder -but totally obsessed and so were so many others in the hay-day of the Environmental Movement of the mid '80s (analogous to the West's early '70s, definately a pivotal cultural movment period in Greece...).
After such semi-voluteering projects and many visits, even guiding the first Canadian ecotourists there, and assisting in the branding for ecotourism at Amvrakikos (and doing various studies), we landed an amazing extra-ambitious LIFE -Nature Project (1999-2003). We did a lot at that time; among other things trying to create the boundaries for the "protected area" and a new National Park.
Most of the photos below are from this period (1999-2003).
The National Park was enacted on March 21st 2008 - it is far from a perfect delination and who knows what zonation will finally take place now that the new Special Environmental Studies are being completed for the area (unfortunately I am no longer personally involved in the area...). There are critical issues associated with land-use changes, hunting and disturbance around the periphery of the park (the so-called "shadow-effect" that the high-profile core of the area casts on important hotspots in the sourroundings).
Our most recent paper, refers to the conservation area "shadow-effect" through some data on the status of lesser spotted eagles; see it here:
Also a summary overview of on of the LIFE Nature restoration works at Amvrakikos, recently show-cased here:
Just a quick flashback - cheers!
|The is Father Agathagellos of the Profitis Ilias Monestery of Preveza. He and his monastery were firm supporters of the conservation cause and helped me personally on many occasions.|
|Yes we did fly over a small flock of Greater Flamingos...in Logarou lagoon.|
|Well this is an important air-photo I took of our four artificial islents in Avleri (Tsoukalio Lagoon). We built them to protect the Dalmatian Pelican colony. An important time for us - and new know-how developed.|
|A BIG problem concerns landscape change and incremental changes happening with new roads, new citrus plantaions, rock quarries. This scene is next to the village of Louros, within the peripheral area of the National Park. Photo from 2002.|
|The Louros river is the life-blood of the western part of the wetland; here at the Petra Bridge. Valaoritis mountain in the background.|
|The semi-abandoned fish-farm basins of the Psathotopi-Fidokastro area: here we discovered a new population of breeding bitterns and much much more...|
|My last visit was about 10 years ago with the film crew of Vaggelis Efthymiou. We drove with jeeps up to Mavrovouni for the sunset over the vast Rhodia Swamp.|