Database release:

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



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1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name


1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:Υπουργείο Περιβάλλοντος και Ενέργειας

1.7 Site indication and designation / classification dates

Date site classified as SPA:2001-10
National legal reference of SPA designationJMD HP 37338/1807/E103/6-9-2010 (OJ 1495 B)


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km]:


2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name
GR42Notio Aigaio

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Mediterranean (0.00 %)


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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

Kasos island Is the southernmost island of the Dodecanese, lying between the islands of Crete and Karpathos along the eastern part of the Hellenic Trench (Pliny Trench). The IBA Includes the marine area along the north and western part of the Island from Cape Delktis in the north until Cape Trapeza In the south. The boundary contains a 0.5 n.m. marine extension which encloses all 20 surrounding uninhabited islets, jointly known as Kasonlsla, of which Armathla Islet Is the largest The coastline of Kasos is steep with rocky shores, covered by severely degraded maquls and phrygana due to overgrazing, and Interspersed small pebbled beaches. Armathla islet Is surrounded by shallow waters and hosts a perennial saline coastal wetland and sandy beaches. In the past, the islet was inhabited and mined for gypsum. The remaining Kasonisia islets are characterised by low-lying coastal cliffs and halophytic vegetation. The marine area between Kasonlsla and Kasos is shallow, generally not exceeding depths of 50 m, thus favouring the development of Posidonia beds. The continental shelf to the north of Kasonlsla Is narrow and drops abruptly to depths of several hundred meters. Similarly, deep waters surrounding the site continue Into the Strait of Kasos, located west of the site between Kasos and Crete, which Is the deepest connection between the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea with the main channel being c. 1,000 m deep. Strong west-northwesterly eteslan winds and rough sea caused by them are common, particularly during the summer months. Strong currents also occur in the strait between Kasos and Karpathos. The island complex of Karpathos and Kasos Is one of the main Mediterranean Monk Seal breeding areas in Greece and the most important In the Dodecanese. Sightings of cetaceans are also frequent Including the Fin and Sperm Whales, the Rlsso's Dophin, as well as the Striped and Common Bottle-nosed Dolphins. The site is located at the marine area to the east of Kriti, between the islands of Kriti and Karpathos. It includes the island of Kasos, its surrounding small islands and the marine area that is included up to the depth curve of 50 m (the marine part covers 2% of the site). It is the southernmost island group of Dodekanisos archipelagos and it comprises 14 small islands and islets; the most important of them are: Armathia, Makronisi, Kariofila, Porioni, Mikro Pontikonisi, Megalo Pontikonisi and Lytra. The largest one (Armathia) with an area of 2567 km2 and maximum altitude 111 m, lies NW of Kasos. The smallest one (Porioni) with an area 21 km2 lies between the islands of Armathia and Makronisi. The island of Kasos (with maximum altitude 597 m), can be cosidered as a typical example of environmental downgrading. It is characterized by areas occupied by phrygana of a bad state, due to the intensive grazing. The predominant plant species are Sarcopoterium spinosum, Thymus capitatus and Genista acanthothamnos; only in the SW part of the island (Avlaki bay) there is a small area with Juniperus phoenicea, which has also been overgrazed. Moreover, there is locally restricted cultivation, occuping different parts on the island. The extensive sea-cliffs around the island, are in an excellent condition. Since 1980 there has been an extremely uncotrolled increase in the number of goat and sheep, that stretches the ability of the ecosystem to overcome. This event has affected the soil and the vegetation adversely; the original maquis have been downgraded to phrygana, the abandoned cultivation has also been occupied by phrygana, the slopes of the mountains have been stripped of their vegetation and the soil has become eroded. The small island of Armathia, is distinguished for the abandoned cultivations at the coastal areas, which have been colonized by phrygana (Thymus capitatus and Limonium graecum), while in the interior of the island and along their slopes there is a formation of Juniperus phoenicea. Nowadays, the grazing is not so intense at this part of the site (Armathia island), so there is a remarkable regeneration of Juniperus phoenicea. There are also sand dunes (of a bad state, with Limonium graecum and Teucrium gracile), shallow inlets and bays and at the western end there is a small lake. On the islet of Makronisi there are saltmarsh scrubs (on the coastal area) and phrygana (in the interior of the island). The islet of Lytra is still under overgrazing. There are phrygana and flattened sea-cliffs. The rest of the islets are characterized by sea cliffs and halophilus vegetation.Falco eleonorae population values are based on LIFE - Nature «Δράσεις προστασίας για τον Μαυροπετρίτη Falco eleonorae στην Ελλάδα» (LIFE03 NAT/GR/000091)

4.2 Quality and importance

This is an important site for breeding seabirds. Species of concern include: Falco eleonorae and Larus audouinii. The second largest Audouln's Cull breeding population in the southern Dodecanese occurs here (30-63 pairs). The species main foraging areas include shallow coastal waters surrounding the Islets. The quality and importance of the site result from the following elements:1)The island of Kasos is very important for the avifauna of Greece. It is designated as Important Bird Area in Europe. Moreover, it is very important for its invertebrate subfossils (especially terrestrial molluscs subfossils). 2) The small island of Armathia is of great aesthetic value. Also, there is remarkable regeneration of Juniperus phoenicea, which means that the ecosystem follows an upgrade process and it must be protected. 3) In the small island of Armathia as well as in the most of the islets, the human impact is very restricted nowadays. 4) In addition to the included in Annex II animal species, there are many other rare and endemic species of plants and animals. 5) In general terms, the whole of the site is of great aesthetic value featuring also a variety of habitat types remarkable for their representativity as well as for their conservation status.OTHER IMPORTANT SPECIES IN WITH MOTIVATION DReptiles: The reptiles Cyrtodactylus kotschyi and Telescopus fallax pallidus are protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81). The species Telescopus fallax pallidus and Ablepharous kitaibellii fabichi are included IV Annex of the Directive 92/43/EEC. Plants: The species Arenaria fragilima, Astragalus austro-aegaeus, Campanula delicatula, Centaurea aegialophila, Nigella carpatha, Dianthus fruticosus carpathus, Phlomis flocosa, Phlomis pichleri, Salsola carpatha and Staehelina fruticosa are all protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81). Moreover the following endemic species are included in the IUCN Red Data List (1993) in the category of threatened plants: Phlomis pichleri, Salsola carpatha, Staehelina fruticosa, Dianthus fruticosus ssp. carpathus and Nigella carpatha are included 1993 (Greece, World) and 1988 (Europe) with the characterization «Rare». The following species are included in the IUCN Red Data List (1993) in the category of threatened plants: Hymenolobus procumbens (indeterminate), Pteris vittata (rare), Campanula delicatula (rare), Zygophyllum album (rare), Centaurea aegialophila (vulnerable), Leontice leontopetalum ssp. leontopetalum (endangered) Centaurea aegialophila is also included in the CORINE biotopes checklist of threatened plants. The following species are protected by the Greek Law (Presidential Decree 67/81) and are included in the IUCN Red Data List (1993) in the category of threatened plants:Noaea mucronata (rare), Papaver nigrotinctum (=Papaver argemone ssp. nigrotinctum) (rare), Carlina sitiensis (rare), Dianthus cinnamoneus (rare), Nigella fumariifolia (rare). Arum creticum is a species with distribution in Crete and the East Aegean (only in SW Turkey out of Greece). Brassica cretica ssp. aegaea is a chasmophyte with distribution in Greece, SW Anatolia, Mt Carmel. Didesmus aegyptius, an islet specialist, is an east mediterranean element. Lithodora hispidula ssp. hispidula is endemic to East Aegean Islands, Crete and W. Turkey. Trigonella spinosa is an east mediterranean endemic. Poa pelasgis (=Poa sinaica ssp. graeca) is a species with distribution in Greece and in SW Asia.The following orchid species are protected by the CITES Convention (Annex C): Anacamptis pyramidalis, Ophrys bombyliflora, Ophrys tenthredinifera, Orchis sancta.Teucrium brevifolium is an S. Aegean species occuring in Anatolia, Egypt and Libya out of Greece

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]
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]

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


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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level:

Code Cover [%]

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites:

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]
GR95Nisides Armathia kai Makronisi tis Kasou, Antitilos kai Gaidaros tis TilouΖ.klp*4.83


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6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

No, but in preparation



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