Hellenic Ornithological Society, photo: Christos Toskos
GR011 Porto Lagos, Lake Vistonis, and coastal lagoons (Lakes of Thrace)
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Criteria: A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, C4,
Coordinates: 41o 1' N 25o 5' E (Map)
Altitude: 0-99 m
Area: 15300 ha

Site Description
A wetland complex of freshwater lakes and coastal lagoons, with reedbeds ( Phragmites ), wet meadows and saltmarsh.

Habitats: Artificial landscapes (10%, Arable land), Grassland (10%, Humid grasslands), Sea/marine area (5%, Sea inlets and coastal features), Wetland (75%, Coastal lagoons; Mud flats and sand flats; Rivers and streams; Salt marshes; Sand dunes and beaches; Standing brackish and salt water; Standing freshwater; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation)

Land use: agriculture (20%), fisheries/aquaculture (70%), nature conservation and research (5%), tourism/recreation (5%), water management (20%)

Protection status
National High International High
400 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Fanariou/Porto Lagos, 400 ha). 930 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Limni Vistonida/Lagou, Kessanis, 930 ha). Part of IBA covered by Protected Area. Part of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Lake Vistonis, Porto Lagos, Lake Ismaris and adjoining lagoons, 24,396 ha).

The area is important for breeding, passage and wintering waterbirds and raptors, and breeding species associated with reedbeds. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Branta ruficollis (wintering), Haliaeetus albicilla (2- 4 non-breeding individuals ), Aquila clanga (5 wintering individuals), Aquila heliaca (wintering), Falco naumanni (passage).

Species Season Year Min Max Acc Criteria
Oxyura leucocephala White-headed Duck winter 1997 - 2300 unknown A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2
Cygnus olor Mute Swan winter 0 - 800 unknown B1i, C3
Anser erythropus Lesser White-fronted Goose winter 1990 - 40 unknown A1, C1
Tadorna tadorna Common Shelduck winter 1996 250 1200 unknown B1i, C3
Aythya ferina Common Pochard winter 1996 3000 14000 unknown A4i, B1i, C3
Aythya nyroca Ferruginous Duck resident 0 Frequent unknown C6
Merops apiaster European Bee-eater breeding 0 Abundant unknown B2
Fulica atra Common Coot winter 1996 2000 29000 unknown B1i, C3
Numenius tenuirostris Slender-billed Curlew passage 0 - 1 unknown A1, C1
Burhinus oedicnemus Eurasian Thick-knee breeding 0 Abundant unknown B2, C6
Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet resident 0 Abundant unknown B3, C6
Charadrius alexandrinus Kentish Plover resident 0 Abundant unknown B2
Vanellus spinosus Spur-winged Lapwing breeding 1995 5 15 unknown B2, C6
Glareola pratincola Collared Pratincole breeding 0 Abundant unknown B2
Larus melanocephalus Mediterranean Gull breeding 1997 - 400 average B3, C2, C6
Sterna albifrons Little Tern breeding 0 Abundant unknown C6
Tachybaptus ruficollis Little Grebe winter 0 - 2000 unknown A4i, B1i, C3
Podiceps nigricollis Black-necked Grebe winter 1995 1150 6000 unknown A4i, B1i, C3
Phalacrocorax pygmeus Pygmy Cormorant winter 1995 2350 3300 unknown A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2
Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant winter 0 - 2200 unknown B1i, C3
Casmerodius albus Great Egret winter 1996 45 550 unknown A4i, B1i, C2
Ixobrychus minutus Little Bittern breeding 0 50 150 unknown B2, C2, C6
Phoenicopterus ruber Greater Flamingo winter 1996 1500 5000 unknown A4i, B1i, C2
Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis passage 0 - 400 unknown A4i, B1i, C2
Pelecanus crispus Dalmatian Pelican winter 1995 120 250 unknown A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2
Pelecanus crispus Dalmatian Pelican passage 1995 350 700 unknown A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2
Ciconia ciconia White Stork breeding 0 80 130 unknown B2, C6
Puffinus yelkouan Yelkouan Shearwater winter 0 - 500 unknown B1ii, C2
Lanius minor Lesser Grey Shrike breeding 0 Abundant unknown B2, C6
Lanius nubicus Masked Shrike breeding 0 Common unknown B2
Calandrella brachydactyla Greater Short-toed Lark breeding 0 Abundant unknown B2, C6

Conservation issues
The site is threatened by drainage in the eastern part of Vistonis, and water pollution from intensive agricultural, industrial and domestic sources. The wetland is also threatened by agricultural and urban expansion, excessive water abstraction and hunting. A land-use zonation system exists but has yet to be established legally. Part of the area is a candidate SAC.

Threats: agricultural intensification/expansion (high), aquaculture/fisheries (unknown), drainage (high), groundwater abstraction (high), industrialization/urbanization (medium), infrastructure (high), recreation/tourism (low), unsustainable exploitation (medium)

Source: Important Areas for the Birds of Greece
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Hellenic Ornithological Society
Important Bird Areas
Important Bird Areas of Greece
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