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Ελληνική Ορνιθολογική Εταιρεία, φωτογραφία: Μ.Καλούλη
The LIFE_Nature project in Pylos Lagoon and Evrotas Delta (1999)
Put Life into your Environment, LIFE WEEK Conference and Exhibition, European Commission, 20-23 October 1999, Brussels
Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) B4-3200/97/244

The project addresses two proposed NATURA 2000 coastal sites in South Peloponnese, Greece. The sites are mainly characterized by wetland habitats important for migratory avifauna and by sand dune systems essential for the Loggerhead and the African Chameleon.

The LIFE-Nature project was granted to Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) (beneficiary), Institute of Marine Biology of Crete (IMBC) and Sea Turtle Protection Society (STPS) in 1997 and it focuses in three principal axes:
 

  1. the execution of immediate actions for the prevention of further degradation of natural habitats and the protection of important species.

    In PYLOS such actions are:
    • restoration of threatened avifauna habitat
    • prevention of catastrophic effects of oil spills in the lagoon
    • maintenance and increase of the chameleon population
    In EYROTAS main actions are:
    • restoration intervention in sand dunes
    • maintenance and long term increase of the Loggerhead population
    • conservation of waterbird habitat.
  2. the undertaking of an active campaign aiming at the arousal of public awareness and interest for the areas.

     
  3. the preparation of the legislative procedures for the designation of the area as protected under Greek Law.
     

Time Frame: 1 April 1997 - 30 September 2000

 

A first major step in the course of GIALOVA LAGOON RESTORATION is its enrichment with fresh water that was deprived from the wetland during the 60's after drainage attempts which diverted to the sea two inflowing streams. A system of two sluices has been constructed allowing fresh water from the streams to reenter the lagoon.
Aiming at the improvement of habitat quality, a pioneering, for greek standards, work has been undertaken for the STABILISATION OF SANDUNES in Evrotas Delta, which suffer from immense erosion These pilot structures have already proved very effective. Photos 1 and 2 have been taken two weeks apart.
PUBLIC AWARENESS
and local consensus are receiving full attention as both sites had never been managed for nature conservation before.Constant effort is given in informing people and stimulating public involvement by producing material, organizing events and creating environmental education centers.
VOLUNTEER contribution has always been a major component of both HOS and STPS activities and provide considerable support to the project.More that 300 volunteers from all over the world have, up to now, taken part in the project. Volunteers are involved in various activities, mostly linked with habitat management, safeguarding and public information
1. Scientific monitoring of Gialova lagoon is essential for assessing the success of aquatic habitat restoration.

2. A floating boom is permanently placed near the entrance of the lagoon, ready to use in case of oil spills which have repeatedly threatened the wetland in the past.

3. Sea Turtle winter management in Lakonicos Gulf is having major success, resulting, during two winter periods, in 115 releases of Turtles trapped by trawlers.

4. Artificial nesting sites for waterbirds in Pylos Lagoon was an action warmly accepted by the public.

 
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