Database release:
SDF
NATURA 2000 - STANDARD DATA FORM

For Special Protection Areas (SPA),
Proposed Sites for Community Importance (pSCI),
Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and
for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. SITE IDENTIFICATION

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1.1 Type1.2 Site code
BGR2310001

1.3 Site name

DELTA ACHELOOU, LIMNOTHALASSA MESOLONGIOU - AITOLIKOU, EKVOLES EVINOU, NISOI ECHINADES, NISOS PETALAS
1.4 First Compilation date1.5 Update date
1995-042009-05

1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:
Address:               
Email:
Date site proposed as SCI:1996-08
Date site confirmed as SCI:2006-09
Date site designated as SAC:2011-03
National legal reference of SAC designation:Law 3937/29-3-11 (OJ 60 A)

2. SITE LOCATION

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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:

Longitude

21.253889

Latitude

38.331389

2.2 Area [ha]:

2.3 Marine area [%]

35509.89000.0000

2.4 Sitelength [km]:

0.00

2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code

Region Name

GR22Ionia Nisia
GR23Dytiki Ellada

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Mediterranean (0.00 %)

3. ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION

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3.1 Habitat types present on the site and assessment for them

Annex I Habitat types Site assessment
Code PF NP Cover [ha] Cave [number] Data quality A|B|C|D A|B|C
      RepresentativityRelative SurfaceConservationGlobal
1110info      0.00   
1120info      0.00   
1130info      0.00   
1140info      0.00   
1150info      0.00   
1170info      0.00   
1210info      0.00   
1240info      0.00         
1310info      0.00   
1410info      0.00   
1420info      0.00   
2110info      0.00   
2120info      0.00   
2250info      0.00   
3290info      0.00   
5330info      0.00   
5420info      0.00   
8210info      0.00   
92A0info      0.00   
92C0info      0.00   
92D0info      0.00   
9320info      0.00   
9540info      0.00   
  • PF: for the habitat types that can have a non-priority as well as a priority form (6210, 7130, 9430) enter "X" in the column PF to indicate the priority form.
  • NP: in case that a habitat type no longer exists in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Cover: decimal values can be entered
  • Caves: for habitat types 8310, 8330 (caves) enter the number of caves if estimated surface is not available.
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation)

3.2 Species referred to in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and listed in Annex II of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them

Species Population in the site Site assessment
G Code Scientific Name S NP T Size Unit Cat. D.qual. A|B|C|D A|B|C
      MinMax  Pop.Con.Iso.Glo.
BA402Accipiter brevipes           
BA086Accipiter nisus           
F1101Acipenser sturio           
BA298Acrocephalus arundinaceus           
BA293Acrocephalus melanopogon           
BA297Acrocephalus scirpaceus           
BA168Actitis hypoleucos           
BA079Aegypius monachus           
BA247Alauda arvensis    1000         
BA247Alauda arvensis    30         
BA229Alcedo atthis           
F1103Alosa fallax           
BA054Anas acuta    1000  1000     
BA056Anas clypeata    300  300     
BA052Anas crecca    7000  7000     
BA050Anas penelope    6000  6000     
BA053Anas platyrhynchos           
BA053Anas platyrhynchos    1000         
BA055Anas querquedula           
BA051Anas strepera    51  100     
BA255Anthus campestris           
BA257Anthus pratensis           
BA259Anthus spinoletta           
BA256Anthus trivialis           
F1152Aphanius fasciatus           
BA226Apus apus           
BA228Apus melba           
BA227Apus pallidus           
BA091Aquila chrysaetos       
BA090Aquila clanga       
BA404Aquila heliaca       
BA089Aquila pomarina       
BA028Ardea cinerea    101  250     
BA028Ardea cinerea           
BA029Ardea purpurea           
BA024Ardeola ralloides           
BA169Arenaria interpres           
BA059Aythya ferina    2500  2500     
BA061Aythya fuligula    501  1000     
BA062Aythya marila           
BA215Bubo bubo       
BA133Burhinus oedicnemus    10     
BA087Buteo buteo    11  50     
BA243Calandrella brachydactyla    100         
BA243Calandrella brachydactyla           
BA144Calidris alba           
BA149Calidris alpina    1600         
BA147Calidris ferruginea    11  50     
BA145Calidris minuta    101  250     
BA145Calidris minuta    101  250     
BA146Calidris temminckii    11  50     
BA224Caprimulgus europaeus    10     
R1224Caretta caretta           
P1780Centaurea niederi           
BA268Cercotrichas galactotes           
BA138Charadrius alexandrinus    11  50     
BA138Charadrius alexandrinus    101  250     
BA136Charadrius dubius    11  50     
BA137Charadrius hiaticula    10     
BA196Chlidonias hybridus           
BA198Chlidonias leucopterus           
BA197Chlidonias niger           
BA031Ciconia ciconia    11  50     
BA080Circaetus gallicus       
BA081Circus aeruginosus       
BA082Circus cyaneus       
BA083Circus macrourus           
BA084Circus pygargus           
F1144Cobitis trichonica           
BA373Coccothraustes coccothraustes           
BA208Columba palumbus           
BA348Corvus frugilegus    51  100     
BA113Coturnix coturnix           
BA212Cuculus canorus           
BA038Cygnus cygnus           
BA036Cygnus olor    101  250     
BA253Delichon urbica           
BA238Dendrocopos medius           
BA429Dendrocopos syriacus           
BA027Egretta alba    51  100     
BA026Egretta garzetta           
BA026Egretta garzetta    11  50     
R1279Elaphe quatuorlineata           
BA447Emberiza caesia           
BA379Emberiza hortulana           
BA382Emberiza melanocephala    155  155     
BA381Emberiza schoeniclus           
R1220Emys orbicularis           
BA269Erithacus rubecula           
BA098Falco columbarius       
BA100Falco eleonorae           
BA095Falco naumanni    10     
BA095Falco naumanni           
BA103Falco peregrinus       
BA099Falco subbuteo           
BA097Falco vespertinus           
BA322Ficedula hypoleuca           
BA359Fringilla coelebs           
BA359Fringilla coelebs           
BA125Fulica atra    20000  20000     
BA153Gallinago gallinago    101  250     
BA002Gavia arctica           
BA189Gelochelidon nilotica    10     
BA135Glareola pratincola    150  150     
BA127Grus grus           
BA078Gyps fulvus    30  30     
BA130Haematopus ostralegus    24  24     
BA130Haematopus ostralegus    10     
BA075Haliaeetus albicilla           
BA093Hieraaetus fasciatus           
BA092Hieraaetus pennatus           
BA131Himantopus himantopus    60  60     
BA299Hippolais icterina           
BA439Hippolais olivetorum           
BA438Hippolais pallida           
BA252Hirundo daurica           
BA252Hirundo daurica           
BA251Hirundo rustica           
BA251Hirundo rustica           
BA022Ixobrychus minutus           
BA233Jynx torquilla           
F1155Knipowitschia panizzae           
BA338Lanius collurio           
BA338Lanius collurio           
BA340Lanius excubitor           
BA339Lanius minor           
BA339Lanius minor           
BA341Lanius senator           
BA182Larus canus    10     
BA183Larus fuscus           
BA180Larus genei    1000         
BA176Larus melanocephalus    10     
BA176Larus melanocephalus           
BA176Larus melanocephalus           
BA177Larus minutus           
BA177Larus minutus           
BA179Larus ridibundus    2700  2700     
BA156Limosa limosa           
BA246Lullula arborea           
BA271Luscinia megarhynchos           
BA272Luscinia svecica           
M1355Lutra lutra           
I1060Lycaena dispar           
R1222Mauremys caspica           
BA242Melanocorypha calandra    20       
BA069Mergus serrator    51  100     
BA230Merops apiaster           
BA073Milvus migrans       
BA074Milvus milvus       
M1366Monachus monachus                 
BA262Motacilla alba           
BA261Motacilla cinerea           
BA260Motacilla flava    100         
BA319Muscicapa striata           
BA058Netta rufina       
BA160Numenius arquata    101  250     
BA158Numenius phaeopus           
BA023Nycticorax nycticorax           
BA278Oenanthe hispanica           
BA278Oenanthe hispanica           
BA277Oenanthe oenanthe           
BA337Oriolus oriolus           
BA214Otus scops           
BA094Pandion haliaetus           
BA323Panurus biarmicus           
BA355Passer hispaniolensis           
BA020Pelecanus crispus       
BA391Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis    501  1000     
BA393Phalacrocorax pygmeus           
BA170Phalaropus lobatus           
BA151Philomachus pugnax    2500         
BA035Phoenicopterus ruber       
BA273Phoenicurus ochruros           
BA274Phoenicurus phoenicurus           
F1129Phoxinellus spp.           
BA313Phylloscopus bonelli           
BA315Phylloscopus collybita           
BA314Phylloscopus sibilatrix           
BA316Phylloscopus trochilus           
BA034Platalea leucorodia    11  50     
BA034Platalea leucorodia           
BA032Plegadis falcinellus    51  100     
BA140Pluvialis apricaria    300  300     
BA141Pluvialis squatarola    51  100     
BA005Podiceps cristatus    501  1000     
BA008Podiceps nigricollis    501  1000     
BA266Prunella modularis           
BA250Ptyonoprogne rupestris           
BA013Puffinus puffinus (yelkouan)           
BA132Recurvirostra avosetta    30  30     
BA132Recurvirostra avosetta    51  100     
BA317Regulus regulus           
M1306Rhinolophus blasii           
M1305Rhinolophus euryale           
BA249Riparia riparia           
BA249Riparia riparia           
BA275Saxicola rubetra           
BA155Scolopax rusticola           
F1150Silurus aristotelis           
BA195Sterna albifrons    101  250     
BA190Sterna caspia           
BA190Sterna caspia           
BA193Sterna hirundo    51  100     
BA191Sterna sandvicensis    11  50     
BA210Streptopelia turtur           
BA210Streptopelia turtur           
BA353Sturnus roseus           
BA351Sturnus vulgaris           
BA311Sylvia atricapilla           
BA310Sylvia borin           
BA304Sylvia cantillans           
BA309Sylvia communis           
BA004Tachybaptus ruficollis    251  500     
BA048Tadorna tadorna    101  250     
R1217Testudo hermanni           
R1218Testudo marginata           
BA161Tringa erythropus           
BA166Tringa glareola    11  50     
BA164Tringa nebularia           
BA165Tringa ochropus           
BA165Tringa ochropus           
BA163Tringa stagnatilis           
BA162Tringa totanus    251  500     
BA162Tringa totanus    25  25     
BA285Turdus philomelos           
M1349Tursiops truncatus           
BA232Upupa epops           
BA142Vanellus vanellus    450  450     
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, I = Invertebrates, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Type: p = permanent, r = reproducing, c = concentration, w = wintering (for plant and non-migratory species use permanent)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the Standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting (see reference portal)
  • Abundance categories (Cat.): C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present - to fill if data are deficient (DD) or in addition to population size information
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation); VP = 'Very poor' (use this category only, if not even a rough estimation of the population size can be made, in this case the fields for population size can remain empty, but the field "Abundance categories" has to be filled in)

3.3 Other important species of flora and fauna (optional)

Species

Population in the site

Motivation

Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
1276  Ablepharus kitaibelii                   
1243  Algyroides nigropunctatus                   
  Alnus glutinosa                   
  Anguis fragilis                   
1143  Barbus capito                   
1143  Barbus capito                   
  Bufo bufo                   
1201  Bufo viridis                   
  Campanula drabifolia                   
1353  Canis aureus                   
  Centaurium maritimum                   
1227  Chelonia mydas                   
A289  Cisticola juncidis    51  100               
1286  Coluber najadum                   
  Cotula coronopifolia                   
  Crocidura suaveolens                   
  Cyrtodactylus kotschyi                   
1350  Delphinus delphis                   
  Erysimum corinthium                   
1363  Felis silvestris                   
1203  Hyla arborea                   
1251  Lacerta trilineata                   
  Lepus europaeus                   
  Malpolon monspessulanus                   
  Martes foina                   
  Natrix natrix                   
1292  Natrix tessellata                   
1269  Ophisaurus apodus                   
1904  Ophrys argolica                   
  Petrorhagia fasciculata                   
1317  Pipistrellus nathusii                   
1309  Pipistrellus pipistrellus                   
1256  Podarcis muralis                   
  Posidonia oceanica                   
1209  Rana dalmatina                   
1212  Rana ridibunda                   
  Salvinia natans                   
  Silene ungeri                   
  Syngnathus abaster                   
1289  Telescopus fallax                   
  Thalictrum lucidum                   
1295  Vipera ammodytes                   
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, Fu = Fungi, I = Invertebrates, L = Lichens, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • CODE: for Birds, Annex IV and V species the code as provided in the reference portal should be used in addition to the scientific name
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting, (see reference portal)
  • Cat.: Abundance categories: C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present
  • Motivation categories: IV, V: Annex Species (Habitats Directive), A: National Red List data; B: Endemics; C: International Conventions; D: other reasons

4. SITE DESCRIPTION

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4.1 General site character

Habitat class

% Cover

N0157.43
N0227.30
N036.95
N040.46
N050.00
N061.70
N083.12
N152.11
N160.31
N170.21
N180.35
N220.00
N230.06

Total Habitat Cover

100

Other Site Characteristics

The site presents a complex ecosystem that is located in western Sterea Ellada. It is one of the most significant wetlands in Greece. It is also reaching the Ionion Sea and containg the terrestrial areas of the Echinades islands group. Here, a very large lagoon, the Mesolongi lagoon (11,200 ha) predominates in the central part of the wetland system. There are also a number of other smaller lagoons to the north (Aitoliko lagoon, 1400 ha), east (Kleisova, 3000 ha), and the west (Gourounopoules, Paliopotamos, 800 ha). The lagoons of Mesolongi lie behind a fragmented sandy coastal ridge which is located between the mouth of the river Evinos to the east and the Koutsilaris hill to the west; they are connected with the Patraikos Gulf (which forms part of the Ionian Sea) by a large opening. A part of delta of the river Evinos is included in the eastern part of the Mesolongi plain. In the extreme west of the area a part of delta of the river Acheloos occurs. Most of the plain is formed from the sediments deposited by these two rivers. Evinos has deposited sediments that cover a part of the area from Mesolongi eastwards, while sediments from the river Acheloos cover the area from Mesolongi to the west. In the western part of the site, the sediments of the river Acheloos surround rocks and hills, of which the Koutsilaris (433 m) is the highest. In the same part several former beds of the river Acheloos can be distinguished. In places within the area of the lagoons near Ag. Triada, Ag.Taxiarchis and Megalo Vouno, former sand-dune ridges may be observed. The Mesolongi lagoon system was formed in the Holocene. The basin of the lagoon is divided into the Aitoliko and Mesolongi lagoons, which are connected to each other by a narrow channel. From a geological point of view, the area belongs to the Ionian and Gavrovo zones and is composed mainly of sedimentary rocks. A small area of the Gavrovo zone is composed mainly of Upper Cretaceous limestones, Eocenic limestones and flysch. A larger area, in which Echinades islands are included, belonging to the Ionian zone and is composed of Triassic crystalines and evaporites, Jurassic limestones with ceratoliths, Cretaceous and Eocenic limestones and flysch. The soil of the area has originated from erosion of the above rocks. In the whole area dominates the clay deposited in salt water; only along the river beds we find clay deposited in fresh water. The salt water clay has a bluish colour, while the fresh water clay is brownish. The coastal ridge consists of sand. As mentioned above, the lagoons of Mesolongi are connected with the sea by means of several wide openings in the coastal ridge. Nevertheless some parts of the lagoons are rather isolated. This results in large fluctuations of salinity during the course of the year. The salinity of the shallow waters south of Aitoliko and probably near the former monastery Ag. Taxiarchis, also fluctuates considerably. The high salinity in summer, caused by evaporation, is tempered by fresh water flowing into the lagoons from the surrounding fields and some small brooks. During the winter large amounts of fresh water drain into the lagoons. In winter water from the Evinos and Acheloos rivers probably also flows into the lagoons on occasions. The lagoons studied are shallow. Their maximum depth is about 2 m but large areas have a depth of about 1m. Only the Aitoliko lagoon has a maximum depth of 28 m. The principal human activity in the lagoons is fishing. For this purpose elaborate pile screens have been constructed in many creeks using the stems of Arundo donax. In some places large quantities of this material are washed ashore and become substrate for a special type of vegetation. The Mesolongi lagoons were formerly surrounded mostly by extensive salt marshes, large parts of which were drained for agricultural purposes, but still remain infertile and serve as a wildlife habitat. Despite land reclamation, salt marshes, sand-banks and mudflats still occur around the lagoons. A detailed description of the area's plant communities is given by Wolff (1968) and Szijj (1983). Generally the area is characterized by variable habitats. Extensive areas of salt marshes exist where the plant genera Salicornia and Arthrocnemum are dominant, as well as extensive areas of shallow water with a rich submerged vegetation of Ruppia, Enteromorpha and Zostera. Apart from the vegetation units already mentioned (section 3.1) extensive, dense reed communities (Phragmitetum) cover substantial areas, mainly in places where freshwater flows into the lagoons. Such areas occur mainly on the north and northeast shores of the Kleisova lagoon, along the western shore of the Mesolongi lagoon, along the eastern shore of the Aitoliko lagoon at the shore of the Skantzochoiros lagoon, along drainage channels and along the edges of the Acheloos river. In these reed communities, Phragmites australis and Typha latifolia dominate. Despite intense agricultural activities, sufficient hedges of natural vegetation with Phragmites australis, Tamarix parviflora and Juncus maritimus grow between the small fields. In these microbiotopes live importand taxa populations. Furthermore, more animals exist in the drainage channels and the surrounding natural vegetation. Close to the reed belts, stands of Scirpetum maritimi occur. These communities are observed mainly at the Mesolongi lagoon (near Poros) as well as several places to the NE of the Kleisova lagoon. It is also worth mentioning that a long, wide coastal strip with sand-dunes occurs mainly to the south-west of the area. The main plant communities are Agropyretum mediterraneum, Ammophiletum arenariae and Cakiletea maritimae. On the islet of Louros at the inner places behind the dunes, a significant cluster of Juniperus phoenicea grows. All this area is extremely valuable. On the surrounding hills clusters of Quercus macrolepis, macchie and phrygana (with Phlomis fruticosa as the dominant taxon) grow. The Acheloos river is the second largest river in the Balkans. On its estuaries as well as along its banks three main types of riparian forests grow: 1) Riparian forests with Salix alba and Populus nigra as dominant species (such forests occur mainly in the southern area of the delta as well as along the river banks); 2) A forest of Fraxinus angustifolia near Lesini, which is the most valuable part of the riparian vegetation of this area; 3) Clusters with Tamarix parviflora and Vitex agnus-castus (mainly in the southern part of the Delta at Kali Chitsa, as well as along the bank of the river). The estuaries of the Evinos river extend from the east shore of the Kleisova lagoon to the foot of Mt. Varasova. The River Evinos springs from Mt. Vardousia and flows into the Patraikos Gulf. It has a length of 110 km and its drainage basin is 1070 km2. It is noticeable that the riparian vegetation of river Evinos appears significantly different from the equivalent vegetation of River Acheloos. This happens because the Evinos river has not a constant and satisfactory flow during all the year. Therefore the clusters with Salix, Fraxinus and Ulmus, as well as the reed belts (Phragmitetum), all along the edge of the river are rare. On the contrary, the development of Nerium oleander in the area is very intense. About 5 km from the mounth of the river clusters of Populus alba, P. nigra and Arundo donax occur. Close to the mouth of the river riparian vegetation with Platanus orientalis, Nerium oleander and Vitex agnus-castus is developed. At the estuaries of the river, the flow is slow, and poor vegetation with Zostera noltii, Myriophyllum spicatum and Valisneria spiralis occur. Despite the intense agricultural activities enough hedges of natural vegetation with Phragmites, Tamarix and Juncus grow between the small fields. Small isolated formations with Phragmites communis occur at the estuaries of the Evinos river as well as in several places along the edge of the river. Close to the reed belts, stands of Scirpetum maritimum occur, at the place where the salinity increases. At the coastal zone extending from the east shore of the Kleisova lagoon to the west of the mouth of the Evinos river (ca. 3 km in length and 0.5 km in width) the land is lower than sea level and is devoid of discharge, resulting in overflow due to rain water. In that place an extensive saltmarsh with a gradiated natural vegetation (Tamaricetum, Juncetum, Arthocnemetum, Salicornietum) is developed. The coasts of Echinades islands provide a number of submarine and semi-submarine sea caves wich are important seal habitats. The species Tursiops truncatus and Delphinus delphis which are recorded as being present in this area, are included in Directive 92/43/EEC, the Bern and Bonn Conventions, CITES and Corine-Biotopes. They are also recorded by the Presidential Decree 67/1981, and Delphinus delphis is recorded in thw Greek Red Data Book as "Vulnerable". Another important habitat type in thw area are the small Posidonia fields. The non-coastal parts of the islands are preserved in very good natural, ecological condition, they are used by seabirds for their breeding grounds. They also present special interest from phytosociological and management points of view. The most important vertebrate taxa are the fow bats of the generate Rhinolophus and Myotis (both threatened taxa recorded in the Red Data Book as "Endagered" and "Vulnerable" respectively). The tortoise Testudo hermanni and the snake Elaphe quatuorlincata, which are all included in Annex II of the Directive 92/43/EEC. The other importand species (section 3.3) are allocated C and D motivations because they are protected by the Bern Convention and the Presidential Decree 67/1981. A number of raptors are recorded as occuring in the area (Aquila chrysaetos, Circactus gallicus, falco peregrinus, Gyps fulvus, Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and most of these are classified as "Threatened" in the Greek Red Data Book.

4.2 Quality and importance

The studied area is a compact ecosystem which although has been strongly influenced by human activities still has significant ecological value, for that reason the wetland it is included in the Ramsar Convention. The flora and fauna of the area is largely specialized due to the extensive presence and dominance of wet-element taxa. As mentioned above, despite land reclamation, extensive areas of salt marshes sandbanks and mudflats still exist. An important part of this site is the pure Fraxinus forest (the only one in Greece) that exists near the Lesini area. Relicts from such a riparian forest occur also on the eastern banks of the Evinos river. These areas have large ornithological and ecological value. The alluvium of the Evinos river are very significant and in very good condition. The estuary of this river consists of one of the most harmonized ecosystems we have encountered. The plant communities of this area are in excellent condition. The coastal zone between the Kleisova lagoon and the Evinos river is the largest unique and uniform part of natural saltmarsh in this site; it is also in a very good natural state. Of great ecological importance is also the ammophilous vegetation of this site, which grows mainly on the islets of the lagoons. The important number of site' s islands presents big interest from phytosociological and floristic points of view. The vegetation of the site is composed of a lot of interesting endemic, rare or threatened plants. Centaurea niederi, which is a rare Greek endemic, is a plant listed in Annex II of the Council Directive 92/43/EEC and in the Bern Convention. This plant is listed in the WCMC Plant Database under the category "Endangered" and is also protected by Gre