Research Seminar by Mr Dimitris Poursanidis, GIS Analyst at WWF, Greece
The WWF Greece's project "Protection of the island wetlands of Greece"
With more than 3,000 small and large islands, Greece is unique in the Mediterranean. Wetlands have always had great significance for the geographical continuity, the diversity and the sustenance of life in Greek islands.
In 2004, WWF Greece undertook the initiative to record the islands wetlands of Greece, since they constitute an ecosystem network of exceptional importance. Despite the fact that they constitute an ecosystem network of exceptional ecological significance, island wetlands remained almost entirely unknown until then and were subject to strong pressures. Through the project “Conservation of island wetlands in Greece”, WWF Greece has thus far recorded over 805(!) wetlands in the Aegean archipelago and the Ionian Sea, planning at the same time future activities for their conservation.
Most of the island wetlands are coastal: small rivers, streams, ponds, brackish or salt water, freshwater, seasonal streams. The total area of island wetlands is 45 km2. Most are smaller than 10 stremmata, only eleven of are larger than 1,500 stremmata, while in some large islands such as Corfu, Evia, Lesvos and Limnos, wetlands may reach or exceed 3,000 stremmata.
These wet ecosystems are of great value for island communities. Apart from their value for irrigation and provision of freshwater, they protect coastal areas from groundwater salinization. In recent years there has been an ever increasing number of visitors who hunt, fish and observe birdlife. Equally great is the importance of wetlands for life, since they host a wide variety of plants and animals.
Although their total area in the Aegean is less than 1% of the area of the islands, wetlands are extremely important for millions of migratory birds each year and are critical to the survival of endemic freshwater fish species Ladigesocypris ghigii in Rhodes, the two frog species Pelophylax cerigensis in Karpathos and Pelophylax cretensis in Crete and a very large number of invertebrates.
|Event starts:||Wednesday 21 July 2010 at 14:00|
|Event ends:||Wednesday 21 July 2010 at 15:00|
|City where event takes place:||Enschede|