Amvrakikos Gulf Wetlands Greece 1999-2003

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Amvrakikos Gulf Wetlands Greece 1999-2003



A stunning photo of a unique lake in the lagoon system for the Coronisian Islands in the center of Amvrakikos Bay (photo taken from https://www.driverstories.gr/az )


Amvrakiko marsh, northwest Greece

I am honored and privileged to be part of a little bit of conservation history at Amvrakikos Bay (one of Greece's largest wetlands and best wildlife spots). In this short trip to the past, I would like to recall a few moments from the images I randomly found and scanned.

My first encounter with birds was in It was in 1984 (I have cousins ​​in Previza...), then at the beginning of 1985, with the Hellenic Ornithological Society, an amazing time began for many young Greek naturalists: the Dalmatian Pelican monitoring program (I will try to discuss it in another article... and find those old photos i will try ...). I was a very young ornithologist, but like many, I was completely immersed in the heyday of the environmental movement around the mid-80s (early 70s in the West, the fertility of the cultural movement in Greece). . ...)

From such semi-volunteer projects and numerous trips, we developed the amazing and incredibly Life-Nature Project (1999-2003) to lead the first Canadian ecotourists and promote the Amvrakikos ecotourism brand (and do various research). . We did a lot during that time; Among other things, they want to create a "protected area" and a new national park border.

Most of the photos below were taken during this period (1999-2003).

National Park on March 21, 2008 It's far from a perfect destination and who knows when the new zoning will happen after the new specific environmental studies for the area are completed (fortunately I'm not personally involved with the area). ...) Around the park, critical issues arise from land use change, hunting and disturbance (the so-called "shadow effect"), which creates significant noise in important areas of the area.

Our latest article concerns the "shadow effect" through some information on the status of the lesser spotted eagle; Look here.


Also a brief overview of one of LIFE's restoration projects in Amvrakikos, recently presented here:


Just a quick reminder, Ah!

The Salura Research Station was a renovated Ottoman customs house. It was re-established in the late 1990s, this time at the Salora Research Station, with EU funding. We spent several nights here. And from this building we saw a spectacular Aetomylaeus bovinus ray feeding in shallow water (one of my first published marine articles)... This aerial photograph was taken during two spectacular FTL "documentation flights" over Amvrakikos in 2002 (see below). ).
Kostas Manikas (Oar) was a keeper of the lakes, an expert and passionate angler, helping ornithologists here since the 1980s. Here with my friend Dimitris Papandropoulos in binoculars - on Lake Logara on the island of Fishing Mama. (In the box there is a young pelican that we snatched in the pub and returned to the colony ... what a misery ...).
Giannis Kazoglou (with Swarovski deposit) and Dimitri Papandropoulos on a trip near Lake Vulkaria. During our lifetime project, we did a lot of research, including some amazing places in the south of the Persian Gulf. In March 2008, the area became a large national park. I think we had to do our part in this, but we were not happy with the final structure and limitations; We're a little late as we thought...
I traveled all the way to Kerkini to learn about the buffalo in this project under the expert guidance of Giannis Kazoglou, the first buffalo in the Rhodian wetlands. A remarkable time and an important step for recovery (the species disappeared from Amvrakikos in the late 1960s). Then other reintroductions (ie the Sperchios Delta) and some large wetlands in Greece increased the population of this animal. During the project (I think in 2002) we helped two graduate students work on the effects of the newly introduced buffalo; It was a great scientific gift for field volunteers.

One of my most trusted friends is the zoologist Charalambos Alivisatos; Here at the beginning of the Nature of Life project in 1999 (I'm in the viewfinder, Nikon). It's a rainy day, maybe 1999. Seriously, I don't remember where he was in Amvrakikos.
We created an artificial canal to irrigate the great Rhodia swamp with the Louros River. In this winter photo (2002) we see Dimitri Papandropoulos, Vasiliki Vlami (in black) and Dimitri Zogaris (five years old... playing in the mud). This project is the largest, largest and most unusual wetland biodiversity restoration project undertaken in Greece at the time. (Of course, later large and expensive efforts were made, for example Carla).
He is the father of Agagello from the Monastery of Prophet Elias in Preveza. He and the monastery were strong supporters of conservation work and helped me personally on many occasions.



Yes, we flew over a small flock of flamingos at Logarut Lake.

We are getting ready to lift!!! ... for aerial photography in 2002 (there were no drones then...). Last from the left (tall) is my good friend Dan Brown; One of the best naturalists I worked with at Amvrakikos. Dan came from Bangor University (where I did my Masters) and spent a lot of time helping us.


This is an aerial photograph taken by me of our four man-made islands in Avleri (Laguna Tsoukalio). We built them to protect the Dalmatian pelican colony. An important time for us and new knowledge was created.

We at Amvrakikos have tried a lot and have great ideas for new things, especially from Thomas Arapis from Oikos Ltd. Here we are building a fence for the buffaloes and also making some water channels to re-flood the river bank. Strogilli of Amvrakikos village. .

Ornithology has been responsible for many of our conservation initiatives in Amvrakikos. Here is pioneering ornithologist Kostas Papaconstantino (set), his wife, ornithologist Niki Kardakari (in red), and my husband, ecotourism expert Vasiliki Vlami (left). We are in Vovalos Islands, you can see birds in the middle of the bay. Photo from 2000.
At that time, we were waiting for many birds even on small islands. Left, "Captain S. Papaconstantino" of the Ornithological Society with a video camera. Vasiliki Vlamy (below right). Bird survey by the Hellenic Ornithological Society. Photo from 2000.
The biggest challenge is the landscape and the incremental changes that come with new roads, new citrus, changed rocks. This scene is located near the town of Louros on the edge of the national park. Figure 2002.

Some nearby hills and forests are important; Raptors like a small spotted eagle nest. This is a Quercus franetto forest on the Valaorites mountain . The area is outside the scope of Natura 2000 (but on the edge of the park); And unfortunately, a small stone and road construction in 2000 drove the eagle from the nest. Photo 2001.



The Louros River is the blood of the western swamp; Here at the Petra Bridge. Valaorit mountain in the background.
My mentor Alcibiades N. Economo and the famous ichthyologist Prof. Louros is on the sidewalk. Note the original "protected area" logos from OMEPE and OIKOS Ltd (which existed before this national park was approved) for the Life Nature project.
Semi-abandoned fish farms in the Psatotopi-Fidocastro region: Here we find new bitter farmers and others.
A typical winter scene in Logara with the town of Arta. In addition to the recovery of the Dalmatian pelican, we have seen a dramatic increase in herring and herring over the past three decades. We took this photo with my friend Aris Vidalis on one of our winter trips.



The last time I went was 10 years ago with the Vagelis FTMU film crew. We took a jeep to Mavrovoni to see the sunset over the large swamps of Rhodia.










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