Evrotas River Delta: Natura 2000 habitat mapping

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Evrotas River Delta: Natura 2000 habitat mapping

Area of ​​Lake Vivari, Evrotas Delta, Southern Peloponnese (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
Delta Avrotus

Avrotas is located in the river delta plain, the southernmost river valley in continental Europe and a Natura 2000 site.

Our goal is to monitor and map the housing types based on needs and implementation of housing policies in the country, so it was an interesting learning experience. I also work with fish tracking.

I find the whole concept of habitat types, plant-sociological components, very interesting. It's a tough subject if you're not used to dealing with it - like a pro. So most people don't follow. Of course, any classification will wake you up: you will try to see different shades, different patterns.

We looked at 11 types of housing; I put my "rush ideas" for open storage.

Some key takeaways...

State of the wetlands: Basically, more than 70% of the wetlands in the delta are dry. Due to the high level of water pollution from agriculture, the remains remain very varied. The most beautiful wetlands in the area are the "Clear Lotic Waters" of Evrotas and Vasilopotamos and the vast water fields of the Asteri swamps that reach into Lake Vivari . Usually the area is full of citrus groves, so it could be anywhere in Florida (if you can hide the Peloponnese mountains).

The most interesting habitats in this Natura 2000 site are poorly defined. Aquatic Habitats - Spring habitats are very attractive here, but they are mostly still in an improved (channel) condition. The dunes are beautiful, but behind them the beach is still thin. Near Rawa Asteri, the dry sandy grassland stretches far from the inland beach and is attractive. There are no salt marshes.

A mugil cephalus and other mugilids ( Chelon sp.) were found 7.3 km offshore at the Natura site.
b. Mugilids (including pairs of Gambusia) have been found in the Asterii swamps.
c. Gambusia is particularly abundant in the Rawa Asteri Channel (near the village of Asteri) and Vivari Lake (with mugilids in the lake).
From the lower Avrotus bridge we watched the big sea bass in the water full of Spartan minnow cockroaches. Using binoculars makes it easier to see and taste fish. The water is clear and is very suitable for fish watching.

birds and other wild animals;

We didn't keep any birds but the bird life was disappointing. As expected, few species breed in areas with abundant water and varied topography (often agricultural landscapes). When oranges and olives bloom, maybe not 20 years ago. I feel that a very important unique habitat is being lost and citrus groves are having a tremendous impact on the bird community.

Important breeding species are: blackcap (Evrotus in riparian forests etc.), little bittern (Vivari alang-along), various other waterfowl (Canaiola). There are usually very few large birds. Bee-eaters maintain small colonies. There are few birds of prey (only kestrels and buzzards).

Walking about 3 km from the beach (Alam beach is 13 km long) we only found one sea turtle. We found two dead loggerhead turtles. We found a very small dead turtle which we thought might be a green turtle.

We've seen beach martens around the big city a few times.

Frogs, turtles, etc. can be seen in many areas. A snake can be seen near Vivary; A glass lizard was found dead on the road. Common herbs include the beautiful green Balkan liquorice.

Some of the snapshots and photos we took are posted here; You can read more soon:

If you also want to read some of our ecology articles about the Evrotas Valley (in Greece), read:
River Evrotas_Valley_South_Zogaris and Vlami

thanks note
I would like to thank professional naturalist and fellow hiker Dimitris Koutsozianopoulos for all your on-site help and of course for sharing his great photos with me (some of which are posted here). Also the Oasis Hotel in Scala for hosting us so well.

A colorful landscape in Astri Marsh.
Viviari sand dunes and "old river channels" on the east side of the delta.
Bush cricket in the dunes. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
At the mouth of the Vasilopotamos river. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).

Divers breed in a vivarium. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
5 km from the mouth of the river. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).

automatically. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).

Darter (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).

Mugil cephalus 7.3 km upstream from the river mouth, with Gambusia and Tropidophoxynlus . (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
Gambusia holbrooki mosquito. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).

Mugilid over the river; 7.3 km high - at least 200 have been sighted here with Squalius, Tropidopoxynlus. gambu . (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
Chelon sp. In the middle of an aster swamp with a Gambusa (in an artificial pond). (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).

Little egret, main stem of Avrotus. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
Natura 2000 border river 7.3 km upstream.

field log. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
A striped turtle. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
The main tribe of Evrotas is the "second bridge". (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
Wet grass (photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
In Savannah (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).

Deceptive Balkan Green Lizard! On grassland behind sand dunes in Astri Marshes. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
Buzzard is common on river banks near Scala. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).

Above the skull in Phrygana. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
In Freegana. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
In the field on the “grey hill” near the Asteri wetlands (Photo: D. Koutsogianpoulos).

In wetlands. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
Wild garlic (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
On the east side of the delta. (Photo: D. Koutsogiannopoulos).
A surprisingly wet year in the rivers of the southern European continent!
Willow forests regenerate well in flowing rivers. If you just push the bars back 50 meters. quiet...
An ancient canal or tributary of the Avrotas about 1.5 km east of the present estuary.
These are stable dunes with grassland plant associations lying in about 400 inland seas near Rawa Asteri and are home to gray sand dunes.
That's a dead turtle; It's much smaller than the two on the beach. It's Vivari, can someone help me with the ID?
The turtle above looks like a young green turtle. They winter in the Gulf of Laconicos.

Not Fiction, Just Truth: River Engineering Efforts at Scala Springs. I want to help develop an inexpensive but very important "biodiversity restoration method." Where are the naturalists?
Vassilopotamos Crystal Springs is a few kilometers below Scala Springs (and about 800 meters from the river mouth).

Evrotas on the stepped bridge. South River, my friends!
This is a natural place like today. This beach is 13 km long and a Natura 2000 site stretching 7.2 km from the main stem of the Avrotas Canal. Our recommendation is to extend the sanctuary at least to Vrondmas Ghat upstream. Now that I'm interested in managing a thriving citrus grove, I consider the location a "nuisance". Cultivation of these commercial crops has no biodiversity value and causes excessive water stress on landscapes and protected areas through water withdrawal. Many challenges ahead!

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