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In the innermost place of the Laconian gulf, the Evrotas delta is of one of the last significant wetlands in southern Greece. The site is included in the European Natura network since it hosts a considerable number of rare and endangered birds. It is a habitat and a breeding ground for hundreds of migratory and endemic birds such as ducks, herons and rare raptors. The Evrotas delta includes seaside swamps, lagoons and sandy beaches. The wetlands formed in the spring around the area are ideal for bird watching, while the surrounding beaches are important breeding sites for the Caretta-Caretta sea turtle.

The Environmental Scientific Center of Evrotas, in the building of the old elementary school of Agioi Taksiarches, provides information on the importance of the Evrotas Delta and the protected habitats of Greece, the most significant protected species and their habitats. In the framework of the informative program, the center organizes guided tours to the protected habitats, the wetlands and the sand dunes as well as bird watching with the adequate equipment, and with the guidance of experienced members of the Hellenic Ornithological Society. 244 species of birds have been recorded in the area, which is characterized as one of the 113 most important bird areas in Greece since 1994.

One of the last natural paradises of south Greece, the Evrotas Delta lies in the innermost of the Laconian gulf. It was created by the displacement of material carried by the river in recent and past times. Thanks to its location, the Delta area is considered to be the most important place of rest, nutrition and breeding for an immense number of migratory birds in South Greece. The area is integrated in the NATURA network as one of the 113 “Most Important Bird Areas in Greece”.

244 bird species have been recorded in the Delta area, 67 of which are included in the Red Book and 166 in Annex II of the Bern Convention for endangered species. 76 of these bird species reproduce in the Delta area and the surrounding mounds. In the seaside swamps, the lagoons, the wetlands and the sandy beaches formed around the river deltas, you can observe all kinds of endemic herons, ducks, glossy ibis (plegadis falunellus), black storkbirds (ciconia nigra) and a number of rare raptors such as eleonora’s falcon (falco eleonorae), eastern imperial eagles (Aquila heliacal), golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), greater spotted eagles (Aquila clanga) etc.

The best period to watch the birds is during spring when “wet fields” form around the Delta, and especially in the region of Drivari. Thousands of migratory waterfowl and water birds come here to breed and feed. In the gulf, from Trinisa to Kokkinia, there is a designated breeding site for Caretta Caretta sea turtles. In addition, the Evrotas Delta is a breeding site for a considerable number of fish and a habitat of endemic organisms and threatened fauna species. In the dune zone, the largest in South Laconia, grows the unique Linum phitosianum.

The building of the old elementary school of Ag. Taksiarches houses the Sea Turtle Protection Society, “Archelon”, the Hellenic Ornithological Society, the municipality of Skala and the Environmental Scientific Center οf Evrotas. The center promotes the significance of the Evrotas Delta, giving guest the opportunity to learn about the rare natural heritage of Laconia. At the same time, it informs on the wetlands, the sand dunes and the protected habitats. The exhibition hall of the center contains a 3D map of the region, a huge three dimensional exhibit with the most significant species and their habitats, a projection room and educational and information material. The program concludes with a tour at the protected habitats of Evrotas, the wetlands and the sand dunes. From January to April you can participate in bird watching with the adequate equipment and the guidance of experienced members of the Hellenic Ornithological Society.

Ag. Taksiarches, Skala Laconia. (e-mail: stps@archelon.gr),

Tel/fax: 27350-23666 / e-mail: Lakonikos@archelon.gr

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