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 Type

B

1.2 Site code

GR2310001

1.3 Site name

DELTA ACHELOOU, LIMNOTHALASSA MESOLONGIOU - AITOLIKOU, EKVOLES EVINOU, NISOI ECHINADES, NISOS PETALAS

1.4 First Compilation date

1995-04

1.5 Update date

2016-12

1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:Υπουργείο Περιβάλλοντος και Ενέργειας
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]

35641.3100

2.3 Marine area [%]

11.9500

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
1110  info      0.00   
1120  info  X     0.00   
1130  info      4.55699  0.00 
1140  info      0.00   
1150  info  X     16308.8  0.00 
1160  info      4258.47  0.00 
1210  info      65.5621  0.00 
1240  info      80.7073  0.00 
1310  info      991.091  0.00 
1410  info      1464.52  0.00 
1420  info      947.342  0.00 
2110  info      82.5721  0.00 
2120  info      0.00         
2250  info  X     222.897  0.00 
3290  info      0.00         
5210  info      122.636  0.00 
5330  info      216.369  0.00 
5420  info      1046.78  0.00 
8210  info      0.00         
91F0  info      47.3939  0.00 
92A0  info      360.121  0.00 
92C0  info      0.00         
92D0  info      542.177  0.00 
9320  info      570.267  0.00 
9350  info      787.586  0.00 
9540  info      243.248  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.
F1103Alosa fallax           
F1152Aphanius fasciatus    10  11   
P1780Centaurea niederi                       
R1227Chelonia mydas                   
F1144Cobitis trichonica           
F5337Economidichthys pygmaeus     
R1279Elaphe quatuorlineata    GRID10X10   
R1220Emys orbicularis    GRID10X10   
I1060Lycaena dispar                       
R2373Mauremys rivulata     
F5333Pelasgus stymphalicus     
F1150Silurus aristotelis           
F5334Telestes pleurobipunctatus     
R1217Testudo hermanni    GRID10X10   
R1218Testudo marginata    GRID10X10   
F5341Tropidophoxinellus hellenicus     
M1349Tursiops truncatus                 
F1992Valencia letourneuxi     
  • 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
1276Ablepharus kitaibelii    grid10X10           
1276Ablepharus kitaibelii    grid10X10           
1276Ablepharus kitaibelii    grid10X10           
1276Ablepharus kitaibelii                   
1276Ablepharus kitaibelii                   
1276Ablepharus kitaibelii                   
1243Algyroides nigropunctatus                   
1243Algyroides nigropunctatus                   
1243Algyroides nigropunctatus                   
Anguis fragilis                   
Anguis fragilis                   
2361Bufo bufo                   
2361Bufo bufo                   
1201Bufo viridis                   
1201Bufo viridis                   
1201Bufo viridis                   
1201Bufo viridis    grid10X10           
1201Bufo viridis    grid10X10           
1201Bufo viridis    grid10X10           
1286Coluber najadum                   
1286Coluber najadum                   
1286Coluber najadum                   
1286Coluber najadum    grid10X10           
1286Coluber najadum    grid10X10           
1286Coluber najadum    grid10X10           
1228Cyrtopodion kotschyi                   
1228Cyrtopodion kotschyi                   
1228Cyrtopodion kotschyi                   
1350Delphinus delphis                     
1350Delphinus delphis                     
1350Delphinus delphis                     
Hemidactylus turcicus                   
Hemidactylus turcicus                   
1203Hyla arborea                   
1203Hyla arborea                   
1203Hyla arborea                   
1203Hyla arborea    grid10X10           
1203Hyla arborea    grid10X10           
1203Hyla arborea    grid10X10           
1251Lacerta trilineata    grid10X10           
1251Lacerta trilineata    grid10X10           
1251Lacerta trilineata    grid10X10           
1251Lacerta trilineata                   
1251Lacerta trilineata                   
1251Lacerta trilineata                   
1263Lacerta viridis    grid10X10           
1263Lacerta viridis    grid10X10           
1263Lacerta viridis    grid10X10           
Natrix natrix                   
Natrix natrix                   
1292Natrix tessellata    grid10X10           
1292Natrix tessellata    grid10X10           
1292Natrix tessellata    grid10X10           
1292Natrix tessellata                   
1292Natrix tessellata                   
1292Natrix tessellata                   
1269Ophisaurus apodus                   
1269Ophisaurus apodus                   
1269Ophisaurus apodus                   
1028Pinna nobilis                   
1028Pinna nobilis                   
1028Pinna nobilis                   
1256Podarcis muralis                   
1256Podarcis muralis                   
1256Podarcis muralis                   
1248Podarcis taurica    grid10X10           
1248Podarcis taurica    grid10X10           
1248Podarcis taurica    grid10X10           
1269Pseudopus apodus    grid10X10           
1269Pseudopus apodus    grid10X10           
1209Rana dalmatina    grid10X10           
1209Rana dalmatina    grid10X10           
1209Rana dalmatina    grid10X10           
1209Rana dalmatina                   
1209Rana dalmatina                   
1209Rana dalmatina                   
1212Rana ridibunda                   
1212Rana ridibunda                   
1212Rana ridibunda                   
Syngnathus abaster                   
Syngnathus abaster                   
1289Telescopus fallax                   
1289Telescopus fallax                   
1289Telescopus fallax                   
Typhlops vermicularis                   
Typhlops vermicularis                   
1295Vipera ammodytes    grid10X10           
1295Vipera ammodytes    grid10X10           
1295Vipera ammodytes    grid10X10           
1295Vipera ammodytes                   
1295Vipera ammodytes                   
1295Vipera 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 close to 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 quatuorlineata, 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. Lycaena dispar is excluded, as it was not recorded, and the Natura area does not include optimal habitats for that species.

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. Ophrys argolica is classified as "Rare" in the WCMC Plants Database. The last plant is also protected by Greek legislation (Presidential Decree 67/1981). In addition to the other Greek endemic species cited in section 3.3 some interesting taxa with motivation D are:a) Salvinia natans, which is a plant with interesting geographical distribution classified as "Endangered" in the WCMC Plants Database. This plant is also protected by law in Greece (Presidential Decree 67/1981); b) Cotula coronopifolia, which has interesting geographical distribution area; c) Thalictrum lucidum, and Centaurium maritimum, which are rare plants with scattered distributions; d) Alnus glutinosa, the populations of which must be protected;

4.3 Threats, pressures and activities with impacts on the site

The most important impacts and activities with high effect on the site

Negative Impacts
RankThreats and pressures [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
HA01o
MA01i
MA04o
MA04i
LA05.01o
LA08I
MA08i
LA09i
MB02.03i
LC01.01i
MC01.05I
HC01.05i
MDI
LD01.02b
MD01.02i
LD01.02i
MD01.03i
LD03.02i
HF01i
MF02.03o
HF03.01i
MF03.01o
LF03.02o
HF03.02.05o
MF03.02.09i
MG01.03i
HG01.03.02i
MG02.08i
MG02.10i
MG05i
HG05.01i
HG05.04i
MG05.11i
MH03.03i
LH06.01i
MH06.02i
MI02i
MI03.01b
LJ02i
LJ02.01o
LJ02.01.01i
LJ02.12i
LK01.02i
MK02.03i
MK03.04i
LL08i
LM01.01i
MXEo
MXOo
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
HF01i

Rank: H = high, M = medium, L = low
Pollution: N = Nitrogen input, P = Phosphor/Phosphate input, A = Acid input/acidification,
T = toxic inorganic chemicals, O = toxic organic chemicals, X = Mixed pollutions
i = inside, o = outside, b = both

5. SITE PROTECTION STATUS

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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level:

Code Cover [%]
GR020.85
GR060.12
GR0882.04
GR925.35
GR950.76
GR9682.44
IN0091.71
IN010.12

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites:

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]
GR02Zones apolytis prostasias AP1, AP2, AP3 kai AP4 Ethnikou Parkou limnothalasson Mesolongiou*0.85
GR08Zones prostasias tis fysis PF1, PF2, PF3 kai PF4 Ethnikou Parkou limnothalasson Mesolongiou*88.24
GR92Perifereiakes perioches PP1, PP2, PP3, PP4, PP5, PP6, PP7 kai Perifereiaki zoni Ethnikou Parkou Mesolongiou*5.69
GR96Ethniko Parko limnothalasson Mesolongiou Ψ Aitolikou, kato rou kai ekvolon Acheloou kai Evinou kai nison Echinadon*89.09
GR95Kantilia-Valti (Astakou)*0.76
GR06To dasos tou Lesiniou Aitoloakarnanias*0.12

Designated at international level:

Type Site name Type Cover [%]
Other Zones apolytis prostasias AP1, AP2, AP3 kai AP4 Ethnikou Parkou limnothalasson Mesolongiou*0.85
Zones prostasias tis fysis PF1, PF2, PF3 kai PF4 Ethnikou Parkou limnothalasson Mesolongiou*88.24
Perifereiakes perioches PP1, PP2, PP3, PP4, PP5, PP6, PP7 kai Perifereiaki zoni Ethnikou Parkou Mesolongiou*5.69
Ethniko Parko limnothalasson Mesolongiou Ψ Aitolikou, kato rou kai ekvolon Acheloou kai Evinou kai nison Echinadon*89.09
Kantilia-Valti (Astakou)*0.76
To dasos tou Lesiniou Aitoloakarnanias*0.12

6. SITE MANAGEMENT

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6.1 Body(ies) responsible for the site management:

Organisation:MANAGEMENT BODY OF “LIMNOTHALASSA MESOLOGGIOU”
Address:
Email:

6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

Yes
No, but in preparation
X
No

 

7. MAP OF THE SITE

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SITE DISPLAY