Corfu Inland Waters: A conservation priority

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Corfu Inland Waters: A conservation priority

The incredible dead fish from Corfu, Valencia letourneuxi , is 8 cm long.B. Photo by Nagy in Corfu.
The inland waters of Corfu

August 30, 2016

Last year, in late July and August, I visited Corfu with friends and colleagues to explore the inland waters. Here I will share some photos and some underwater wonders of the island.

Corfu (in modern Greek its name is Kerkyra - its name) is a famous place for naturalists. Mainly because the action takes place in the context of Gerald Durrell (books, films), the island is sometimes considered a temple of Mediterranean natural history. Darrells was introduced to the wilds of Corfu by the great Greek naturalist Theodore Stephanides, who wrote the first limnological study on the dangers of alien mosquito fish in inland waters.

Anyway... Corfu is the only Greek island that has two freshwater fish named after it: the Corfu deadfish ( Valencia letourneuzi ) and the Corfu pygmy goby ( Knipowitschia goerneri ). On the island, there are populations of Epirus rifdace ( Telestes pleurobipuntatus ), Tesprot pelas ( Pelasgus thesproticus ), Mediterranean killer whale ( Aphanius fascieus ), freshwater blenny ( Salaria fluviatilis ) and European eel ( Anguilla aling ). . Many transitional and migratory fish enter the island's many fresh waters, the four main lakes and the surrounding navigable transitional waters. There is nothing of such "ichthyological interest" in Greece (beside Evia, Lesbos and Rhodes).

Scientists say the island's interior waters are "poorly understood."
This has led to the belief that some of his fish, such as the two fish named after him (see above), have disappeared! Of course, they have declined significantly, but when you can say "disappeared"... This is published publicly on the IUCN Red List website and published on the official RED DATA labels here in Greece and we have also reported ( see 2010 ) the article below . ). So, for the past few years, some of us have been trying to find these "wrong" creatures. In 2011, several naturalists and scientists rediscovered the location of two populations of Corfu Pygmies, and in July 2014, a Czech-Greek team finally identified the Corfu Pygmy ( see article below ). Naturalists who visit the fish will be interested, photos of these species from various parts of the island are available on the Internet (see below).

Unlike most Greek islands, Corfu is rich in inland waters. One of the reasons we don't know much about the fish is the high water level on the island. There are probably over 100 still and lotic pools on the island. Lakes, ponds, ponds, swamps, rivers, streams, swamps. Looking at a modern river map, I counted over 20 large free river basins, most of which have significant continuous water flow (see my map below).

The island's lagoons are important and almost unique in the Greek island context. And one of them is Lake Korision - a beautiful lake on the southern coast. A beautiful stretch of water surrounded by Greece's most spectacular dune system and rolling Italian scenery - very lush yet wild and traditional at the same time. Koritsion is really beautiful, and that's why it becomes ...

What I found useful is the general assessment of the inland waters of Corfu. Full and thorough analysis. It is absurd to continue to call a species extinct (or extinct). Basic analysis, mapping and monitoring of all inland waters and habitats are essential to protect the aquatic nature of the island. Conservation science also describes what can be done for conservation (rehabilitation, fish introduction, habitat improvement, strict controls, eradication of alien species, community involvement, etc.). It's time for conservation work like this, otherwise we'll be very sorry to lose some of Corfu's wonderful fish soon.

As little is known about the island's interior waters, the discovery and restoration of these rare species has become a contentious issue. Mapping the inland waters shouldn't be that difficult...

Our team agrees with the assessment published in 2010 that dead fish in Corfu are "disappearing" in Corfu. Read here:

This was quickly resolved by "rediscovering" European passions and gathering and documenting our team in September 2009. In a 2010 conference report (see: Jakumi, S., Zimmerman, B., Chacinikolaou, Y., Economou, AN and Calgianni , E., 2010. Preservation, pp. 295-298. In: 14th Panhellenic Ecological Congress, Piraeus , May 6-9, Greece (Greek summary in English).
It was later published in October 2012:
A recent contribution to the distribution of freshwater fish in Greece.

Our last article about the rediscovery of the Corfu pygmy goby on a trip to the Czech Republic and Greece in July 2014 ... To learn more about this enigmatic fish, read this article from 2016 - Restricted to Lake Korision.
Restoration of Knipowitschia_goerneri_

Photos from 2015 and 2016, mostly mine, but the famous Yiannis Gasteratos kindly allowed me to use him and two other visitors to Corfu, P. Sutton and B. Thanks to Nagin for photographing the rare fish.

together with prof. Panagiotis Dimopoulos in search of Cladium mariscus marsh in Lake Chorision. July 2015

Traditional man-made canoe in Horizion lake. July 2015

Lake Korission. July 2015

The channel that connects Lake Koritsion with the sea. July 2015

White perch - Dicentrarchus punctatus - in Lake Koritsion. July 2015

The dune buggy is a way to explore the dunes - it helps smooth it out a bit. And it creates paths so you don't get lost while walking. In addition, ORVs and other dune busters make great sounds here that will keep your mind entertained. July 2015

Looking south from the high cliffs of Essos, south of Korykion. July 2015

Parking at Issos beach. July 2015
The killer fish of Corfu was photographed by a Hungarian collector from Corfu. This species was "rediscovered" in Corfu in 2009 (recorded HCMR) and 2011 (B. Nagy). As far as we know, P. Sutton discovered this fish at the beginning of this decade.
The Corfu Pygmy Goby is a small fish found only in the Corrosia lagoon area. Extinct since 1983 (when the first taxonomic descriptions were collected), this species was discovered in July 2014 by a Czech-Greek operation. Presumably lost. The photo shows Dr. Peter Sutton holding a fish on the island. He is credited with rediscovering it, as shown in the newspaper clipping (below).

An article in the Bradfordshire Sunday about Dr BP Sutton's 'rediscovery' of the two rare fishes that bear the island's name. This article may have been published or widely available before the 2015 article on the rediscovery of the pygmy goby in Corfu (see: +2015&pid = 601 ), few fish on this island analyzed It doesn't matter who caught it first. The desire of the fish is the most important. I'm very happy to see the celebrity interest.

As with many islands, invasive species are a problem. These posts are from the South American Corpus!! At first I thought they were otters... I saw them in Lake Korision, at the end of August 2016.

The canal was cleared from the Kunufadi cold spring near Antinioti Lake at the end of August 2015. On the right, the channel is full of large stones and straight. The restoration project affected the freshwater animals that survived here.

Lake Antinoti, north of Corfu. This place has serious pollution problems. On a very hot day at the end of August 2016
Of the four main lakes of Corfu, the Aliki Lefkimmis lake is the richest in birds. It is an old salt factory located in a natural salt lake in the south of the island. July 2015
Niki Kardakari and I (wearing a pink hat) look out over the spectacular thickets of eroded Populus alba forests north of Lake Korision .

The gray oak Quercus pedunculiflora is one of the hardiest and least known Greek oaks, often found in riparian forests or in relatively moist areas. In Corfu, it is very common in some parts of the island and comes from forest communities along the river. (Photo: Yiannis Gasteratos)

Goats in the dunes of Issos, Korission. Fifty years ago there were a thousand; now, we are told, not more than a hundred. It needs wood. We must examine their connection with the pine forests. (Photo: Yiannis Gasteratos)

Curlew Sandpiper north of Coricion. The lake's water level dropped on the day of our visit, which helped these important travelers find a rendezvous before crossing the Ionian and Mediterranean to Libya. (Photo: Yiannis Gasteratos)

Giannis and I went to explore the Natura 2000 area between the city and Messogi, here at the Kaiser bridge. Posidonia fields dominate. (Photo: Yiannis Gasteratos)

Mullus surmelatus is common here - I counted 18 species in 30 minutes. (Photo: Yiannis Gasteratos)

Gambusia Holbrooks. the american The intruder the destroyer (Photo: Yiannis Gasteratos)

Giannis captured this magnificent Dacian Rifle from Epirus on one of the northern waterways of the island. (Photo: Yiannis Gasteratos)

The blurred picture of Corfu's inland waters consists of more than 20 major river basins, many of which have annual flows. and the location of the four main coastal lakes - indicated by arrows -. (modified from the text of B. Nagy, 2011).

Acknowledgments: I would like to thank the following people for their support: Yiannis Gasteratos for his support in 2016; Stamatis Ginis, Panagiotis Dimopoulos and Niki Kardakari gave us a reason to visit the island. Thanks to the photographers of "the two strange fish that bear the island's name" for not getting mad at me for borrowing their photos.

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