National parks of Greece
National parks of Greece
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - National parks of Greece
National parks of Greece
Greece is characterized by a highly fragmented, rugged landscape hosting
a great variety of ecosystems and an outstanding biodiversity.
It is a relatively small country with a population of up to eleven (11) million
people and an area of 132.000 km2, which, however, is positioned at the
crossroads of three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa) and therefore
played a key role in communication and development of the surrounding
area. The natural environment of Greece is characterized by dramatic
changes of ecosystems and habitats
It has a very long coastline (16,000 km), numerous peninsulas and islands.
It is mainly a mountainous country with a great variety of geological
formations and rocks. It is estimated that forests cover 20% of the surface.
and over 50 % of its territory is 200-1000 meters above sea level.
There is a wide geographical variation (mountains, hills, valleys, plains,
rivers, islands, beaches, lakes and lagoons.
All these features create a unique landscape, with unique specificities from
region to region.
Moreover, in our country we find many different types of climates (from dry
- Crete until cold - continental Rhodope), creating a large mosaic of
vegetation and contribute to the isolation of certain habitats, which in turn
generate a relatively large number of endemic and rare species of plants and
At the same time, the paleogeographic history of the site in conjunction with
changes in the global climate and glacial periods resulted in the enrichment
of flora and fauna. In addition, many species were widespread in Central and
Northern Europe, remained in our country as a residual and considered quite
The Greek forests are among the richest in flora and fauna rare species
H form and composition depends on their geographical location.
In the northern part of the country, one encounters the green forest of the
Rhodope mountains and Pindos, and the famous Mount Olympus.
The tree species that grow there firs , poplars - trees , dogwood , elm , cedar
, wild walnut tree , hazel , trees , cherry trees , cypresses , etc.
In the southern parts of coniferous trees dominated by different species of
pine trees, mountain and oak in the lower parts.
Even at 700 meters above sea bushy formations are developed covering 13.5
% of the total forest area of country.
The species grown there consist of small trees, laurels as arbutus, willow
trees and shrubs, such as ivy, thyme, oregano, holly, mullein. etc. as a series
of wild flowers such as orchids , saffron , cyclamen , irises , anemones ,
dragon flowers , daisies , chamomile , wild pansies , violets , poppies , etc.
Also , there are riparian forests in Greece which is on par with those in other
European countries and deserves to be protected as a forest of ash in the
delta of Achelous , the forest of the river ( Kotza Orman ) and forest Delta
Lokrou - Arachthou
Also one of the important elements that constitute the Greek landscape is
natural and ecological fences develop rural areas , help to protect the crops
from the natural environment and the land from erosion and flood prevention
and is an important habitat for many plants and animals. These hedges are
formed by more than 150 species of plants, shrubs and trees (Such as wild
roses, willows, elms, trees, etc.)
Over 1200 species of animals , birds and insects find shelter , food and
shelter in these places , such as partridge , blackbird mouse, mole , butterfly ,
grasshopper , Wasp , etc.
It is understandable, therefore, that our country has enormous natural wealth
and conquered the first place in Europe in this field. Unfortunately, the
environment in Greece is facing multiple threats of degradation, even
Feature is that the Greek wetlands have been destroyed by three quarters,
while the rate of reforestation is only 25 % and is the lowest in the
Almost 5% of the Greek coastline consists of ecologically sensitive
wetlands, especially in areas experiencing rapid growth of tourism.
The risk of disappearance of the natural environment of our country led to
the designation of certain areas, habitats, plants and animals are protected.
With national laws and presidential decrees, but also with international
resolutions, conventions and directives, a sizable percentage of species and
regions of the country are protected.
Climate change and biological diversity, along with its rich flora and fauna
associated with it, has necessitated the creation of national parks
Greek national parks (protected areas)
National parks usually consist of an area of absolute protection , the core,
and a protective zone . According to Greek law, the kernel can not be less
than 15,000,000 square meters, with the exception of marine national parks.
The area should be greater than or at least equal to the size of the core.
At the heart of the national park, only scientific research, mild recreational
activities, and collection of information related to the environment.
In the wider area of the national park allowed outposts, aquaculture,
construction of forest roads, hiking camping,
in conjunction with infrastructure and controlled logging.
Some of the activities that are prohibited in national parks cores are industry,
creating settlements, houses, cottages and huts, grazing, logging, hunting,
cutting, uprooting, collecting plants etc.
In Greece the demarcation National Parks, ie areas of natural wealth
protected by state regulations began to be consolidated from the 1950.
The national parks in Greece, known for its lush vegetation and fauna and
has enormous ecological value. Rare species of plants, animals, reptiles and
birds nesting in these shelters and deserve every possible protection and
The first National Park established in the country in 1938 is Olympus.
So in our country are:
10 national forest parks, two water parks and 27 national parks
National forest parks
• Olympus National Park
• National Park of Parnitha
• Parnassos National Park
• National Forest Enos Kefalonia
• Sounio National Park
• Iti National Park
• White Mountains National Forest (Samaria)
• Pindos National Park (Valia Calda)
• National Park Prespa
• Gorge Aoou
National marine parks
(National Marine Parks are marine areas declared as protected areas) .
In Greece have set up two sites as National Marine Parks
• National Marine Park of Allonisos, Northern Sporades, 1992
which includes land and sea areas of the high sea,
because they are the refuge of the Mediterranean monk seal
• National Marine Park of Zakynthos, 1999
for the protection of the sea turtle Caretta caretta
There is an abundance of protected areas, particularly wetlands specifically
designated after the 2004 National Parks.
These, in order of approval are as follows :
• National Park Ropes Marathon 2000
• Park wetlands and lake Koroneia Macedonian Tempi , 2004
• Northern Pindos National Park , 2005
• National Park Messolonghi ( lagoons ) , wetlands and estuaries Aitolikou
Achelous and Evinou and islands Echinades , 2006
• National Park of Dadia Lefkimmis and Soufliou, 2006
• National Park Lake and Lake Kerkinis Pamvotidas , 2006
• National Wetland Park Evro Delta , 2007
• National Park wetlands Ambracian , 2008
• National Park of East Macedonia - Thrace 2008 ( Nestos )
• Tzoumerkon National Park and Canyon Arachthou , 2009
• National Park Kotychi - Strofylia , 2009
• National Park Axios , Loudias and Aliakmona , 2009
• Rhodope Mountains ( virgin forest fence ), 2009 , and
• National Park Chelmos Vouraikos 2009 .
According to the Greek Biotope - Wetland Goulandris today in Greece
• 10 National Forest Parks ( 687,320 hectares)
• 14 National parks (713,480 hectares)
• 51 Preserved natural monuments ( 168,400 hectares )
• 585 Wildlife Refuges
• 7 Controlled hunting areas ( 1,070,860 hectares )
• 21 game farms Treasure ( 36,030 acres)
• 2 Protection of Nature (Psalidi Kos western Milos )
• 1 - area house development in the area ( Lake Pamvotida )
• 10 Wetlands of International Importance (Convention Ramsar)
• 390 Areas of the NATURA 2000 network
• 16 Districts biogenetic reserves ( 222,610 ha)
• 2 Biosphere Reserve ( Parks and Samaria Olympus )
• 2 World heritage sites (Metsovo and Athos )
• 1 area ( Samaria , which has been awarded Eurodiploma)
Nowadays , designated 234 NATURA 2000 sites across the country ,
covering a total of 18% of the land area of Greece , which is about 2,360,000
hectares , excluding purely marine areas .• 19 Aesthetic forests ( 325,060
Map of Greece with the positions of National Parks and National
Parks (including water parks
The national parks in Greece, famous for its rich vegetation and fauna and
have tremendous ecological value. Rare species of plants, animals, reptiles
and birds nesting in these havens and deserve every possible protection and
What follows are just a few of the most important national parks in Greece:
1. Parnassus, the sacred mountain of the Muses of ancient Greece
2. Mount Iti, where Hercules met terrible fate.
3. Parnitha, with more than 1000 species of plants and 120 species of birds
4. Mount Sounio (important passage for migratory birds)
5. Olympus, the living part of the ancient Greek gods, with over 1700
species of plants live, including 25 points in the world
6. National Park Aoou - gorge with two of the biggest natural landscapes
7. The Vikos Gorge with rich flora consisting of rare species at risk of
8. The chasm Aoou, which is also rich in flora and fauna where one can
find , among other species , the rare otter in the river
9. The National Park Valia Calda - the most important park of our country
, where more than 80 species of birds nest , while 30 of those listed in Annex
I to 79/409 EEC direction .
It is a place of considerable ornithological value presents 11 species of
raptors and 68 species of woodpeckers.
Also , is the living part of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and wolf (Canis
Lupus), while an ideal habitat for otters and amphibians are rich region (6
species) and reptiles (9 items)
10. Another important park is park of Samaria in Crete with the unique
canyon. The Cretan wild goat and one of the rarest raptors necrovorous in
Greece, the Vulture.
11. The National Park of Ainos Kefalonia the island is famous for its
magnificent fir (Abies Kefalonia )
The fauna of all these areas consist of a large number of mammals , such as
badgers , foxes , squirrels , hares , bears , wolves , deer , badgers , wild boars
, wild cats , a few jackals , deer and rare species of birds, especially raptors ,
such as vulture , vultures , golden eagle and the golden eagle , the snake
eagle , the robin and owl .
The vegetation is also awesome abundant and therefore, these parks are
fairly characterized as a botanical paradise and living spaces of the ancient
Greece also has a great reputation for several surfaces of water. Setting the
humidity and climate regulation is their function. The play important role in
wintering birds and migration, breeding in northern Europe and the former
In this way you will become an integral environmental supply chain that
connects the northern areas to the south.
In Greece 410 regional surfaces importance of water has been recorded,
while 11 have been declared as “Water Surfaces international importance”
RAMSAR- February 1971,
like the Messolonghi lagoon - Aitolikou - Achelous mouth Ambracian
( breeding area of marine turtle Caretta - Caretta), the delta of the Euro
(one of the most important bodies of water in the Mediterranean lagoons
Thrace Porto - Lagos and Acetabulum , the Prespa National Park ( two
lakes) , Nestos and Axios and earthscapes and bulbs.
All these places are home to more than 300 species of birds such as Pelicans
onocrotalus, the cormorant, the cinder Goose, the black stork, the
Agathocalimana (unique species in Europe), the Aegioglarus etc. Also, a
large number of amphibians, reptiles, mammals and insects nest to find food
and shelter there.
However, these areas are not seriously undermined by excessive cultivation
of the land, drainage, pesticides, destruction of riparian forest, open channel,
hunting, construction of new dams etc. regardless of high ecological,
scientific and cultural costs.
The pollution of the natural environment and the degradation of forests and
other natural ecosystems, although dating from the beginning of the
industrial revolution, however, took place during the last 40 or so years.
Industrial development of the country follows inevitably to a greater or
lesser extent, depending on the concentration of industry size urban centers,
local climate, etc., destruction of the environment. In industrialized Western
countries (Germany, France, England), and in countries of the former
Eastern bloc necrosis observed from plants, pollution of surface and
groundwater, a dramatic reduction of species and populations of fauna and
From this general rule could not be differentiated our country. The rapid
and unregulated development of the two major urban centers (Athens,
Thessaloniki) created, among other things, a serious pollution problem.
Athens until 1960 had 1,000,000 residents and several factories, without ''
cloud ‘‘, except perhaps in Eleusis and Piraeus, where heavy industry is
In 15 years (1975) the population tripled (3,000,000 inhabitants), cars
proliferated and gathered to bowl three quarters of industrial and economic
activity. This led Attica previously had one of the best climates in the world,
become the most polluted region of our country, as demonstrated by
systematic studies on the effect of emissions from these activities in natural
ecosystems of Attica.
Thus, one of the big threats is air pollution.
Series are human interventions (uncontrolled logging, dams, creating
At the same time , other activities , such as recreation in the national forest
and natural phenomena (sometimes artificial of course) such as fires ,
creating a threat to the forests of our country , especially during the summer
months , when tourism increases and high temperatures create flammable
Another serious threat is the human intervention
All these positions seriously undermined by excessive cultivation land ,
drainage , pesticides , destroying riparian forest , open channel , hunting ,
construction of new dams etc. regardless of high ecological, scientific and
cultural costs .
Conclusions on environmental protection
It is reasonable that every part of the planet Earth is a paradise!
It is vital to keep on improving our own quality of life and as a legacy for
It is our duty to protect our environment, our forests and our shores. There
will be no life on our planet, without the awakening of environmental
awareness and environmental responsibility are values that must be guided
in future citizens who will influence legislation and environmental policy
through voting, pressure or involvement to make our world their best!
Let's not waste time!
Let's all try, citizens and state together in every part of the earth to save
the environment, or at least save what is left of it, before it is too late for
all of us!
By Ann Magkiosi