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Hellenic Ornithological Society
Problems and conservation efforts

The Natura 2000 network

Due to its ornithological importance the wetland and its surrounding area have been designated as a Special Protection Area under the Birds Directive. It has also been included in the list of proposed Special Areas of Conservation to form part of the Natura 2000 network. Natura is an EU – wide network of nature protection areas established under the Habitats Directive. It comprises the most significant natural sites of Europe and aims at the long term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats, through the implementation of measures and policies that promote ecologically, economically and socially sustainable management practices such as rural - tourism, ecotourism, biological farming and stock-raising.

The problems

Until two decades ago, the wetland communicated with the large karstic lake Vegoritis through a tunnel, constructed by Public Electricity Corporation. This communication has been broken up because of the severe decline of Vegoritis water level, resulting in the reduction of surface water inflows to the wetland. Furthermore, the water quality deterioted due to the increased use of agrochemicals that followed the intensification of cherry tree cultivation. The excessive development of reedbed vegetation is the most obvious impact of increased nutrient input, resulting in the restriction of water circulation. The quality of habitat for the aquatic organisms, including fish and crayfish, deteriorated and their populations decreased, in such an extend, that they are not form anymore a significant resource either for fishermen or for fish-eating birds. Namely, an important from the ecological and socio-economical point wetland value that existed before the Public Electricity Corporation interventions significantly declined.

The LIFE project

The LIFE project is implemented by the Municipality of Edessa in collaboration with the Prefecture of Pella, the Pella Development Agency, NAGREF and Endiaitima. It includes actions that are expected to improve wetland habitat conditions and result in the recovery of plant and animal populations, especially of priority bird species. Furthermore, traditional wetland associated human activities such as fishing and stock raising will be supported, and the local environmental information and interpretation capabilities will be enhanced in a way compatible to the conservation of wetland functions and values.

These measures are expected to restore the harmony between man and nature. Off course co-operation of the local community and visitors is a pre-requisite of vital importance. Lets all help today, to celebrate tomorrow for the success of the effort.

The EVS project

Since 2008, Hellenic Ornithological Society/ Birdlife Greece has been running a European Volunteer Service in the wetland with the support of the “Youth in Action” project of European Commission. The target of HOS is this very important wetland is to have around it people who care about the environment and they try to do their best.

 

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