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17th February 2017: 14th February 2017: A historic day for transboundary Prespa

22 September 2016: The Juniper Forests captured the interest of the “students” of the two summer schools, implemented this summer in Prespa

13th September 2016: 100 wetlands and 7 countries in 1 afternoon – the 1st Pelican census covering all of SE Europe and Turkey

15 February 2016: Our life in a wetland! Primary school students from across the transboundary Prespa basin show us what the wetland looks like through their eyes

8 October 2015: Walk in the forests of Prespa with your phone aw a guide!

23 July 2015: United by pelicans

9 February 2015: "Karagiozis, the protector of Prespa!"

2 February 2015, World Wetlands Day: I'ts time for ratification of the Agreement on the transboundary Prespa Park

21 January 2015: Second Dalmatian pelican falls victim to illegal hunting in the Evros Delta

15 April 2014: The Society for the Protection of Prespa is the “Best of the Best” once again!

21 March 2014: The re-introduction of animal husbandry as a conservation measure for the Grecian juniper woods of Prespa

31 January 2014: Prespa Park: at the crossroads of sustainability

3 July 2013: The very first nationwide Pelican Census in Greece!

3 April 2013: Striving to enhance the natural values of the Prespa region, for biodiversity and people, through joint actions across borders

1 February 2013: Prespa Park 2000-2013: time to take new initiatives

10 December 2012: Manual for the protection of fish and fisheries in Prespa

9 October 2012: The thrilling journey of migration!

9 August 2012: Only Greece is now delaying implementation of the International Prespa Park Agreement

The cooperation of the countries of SE Europe is imperative for the protection of the pelicans

8 May 2012: Transboundary Prespa puts fish and fisheries centre stage

3 February 2012: The Society for the Protection of Prespa is celebrating World Wetlands Day with events in Thessaloniki and across the borders in Prespa

23 January 2012: Environmental organisations denounce out-of-control illegal hunting in the Prespa National Park

6 October 2011: With a seal of approval from the European Union, the International Agreement for the Prespa Park is now in the hands of the three states that share the Prespa basin

15 April 2011: Learn all you need to know about keeping the treasures of the lakes safe from harm

2 February 2011: Ratification of International Agreement for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Prespa Park still pending one year after

21 May 2010: Prespes: An ecosystem that still resists

2 February 2010: The three countries and the European Commission commit to cooperate for the protection and the sustainable development of the Prespa Basin

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Thursday 14 December 2017, 15:49

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21 May 2010: Prespes: An ecosystem that still resists

At the same time that the U.N. is warning about the major species loss rate, which is 100 times more than the expected one, and that nowadays our planet “looses” 3 species per time, at the southwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula, protected inside the mountains that surround it, among Greece, Albania and FYROM, one of the most important ecosystems still defends itself conserving unique forms of life and habitats. The ecosystem of Prespa!

There are many features that form the uniqueness of the natural environment of Prespa. Nevertheless, the most dominant is the great number of the forms of life, most of which unique, and the habitats comparing to the area. More specifically, over the half species of birds, amphibians and mammals that are found in whole Greece are encountered in Prespa.

With the occasion of the International Day of Biodiversity let’s see some of the famous and unknown “heroes” of Prespa’s biodiversity:

The globally endangered Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus): More than 260 species of birds have been recorded, placing the area at the top of the best places for bird watching in Europe. Among them the globally endangered Dalmatian Pelican stands out, which is the diachronic symbol of the area. Nowadays, Prespa hosts the largest Dalmatian Pelican colony in the world reaching almost 1,300 pairs and consisting the 15-20% of the world population. In 1987 there were only 150 pairs! The research and the management measures that the Society for the Protection of Prespa has been implementing since 1990, has led to that increase.

Prespa’s unique fish fauna: The Prespa lakes and the streams that flow into them from the surrounding mountains make up a single water body, isolated from other such bodies in the Balkan Peninsula. According to the IUCN “Red list of Freshwater Fish endemic to the Mediterranean basin”, Prespa has been categorized as one of the 10 most important wetlands in the Mediterranean for endemic fish species. More specifically, of the 11 native species, 9 are endemic.

The Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) is monitoring the fish populations of Prespa through sampling research methods. The SPP has also elaborated action plans for the protection of the endemic fish species “Prespa Barbel” and for the protection of the endemic Prespa Trout.

The 172 species of butterfly: No fewer than 172 species of butterfly have been recorded in Greek Prespa, out of 234 in all Greece. Only certain parts of the Rhodopi Mountains farther to the east hold a greater proportion of the national total. Different species have differing requirements and so the impressive diversity of butterfly species is a measure of the wealth of plant communities and ecological niches in Prespa.

The centenarian Cedar forest: At the top of the road Koula-Psarades, there is a clump of centenarian trees, some of which are over 400 years old and are called Junipers or Cedars. They belong to two species: Juniperus foetidissima and Juniperus excelsa. These two species are usually in bushy or semi-bushy form and the arboraceous form is rare in Europe, while it is being accompanied by am extremely rich flora at the understory. For that reason this clump of Cedars was included in 1974 in the Core of the Prespa National Forest.

The shorthorn Prespa cattle:  A race of small sized cattle, which for many years were growing in Prespa area, but now there are left only some at the village of Psarades and at the Albanian part. Shorthorn cattle are found in other places as well, the distinction however of the Prespa cattle is the extremely short body of the animal. It is a race whose protection is an exigent necessity.

All the above mentioned and even more, such as the unique in Greece reproductive population of the Great White pelicans, the endemic plants, the wet meadows area, the sub-alpine meadows in Mount Varnous, the mixed forests of lammergeyer and fir , the Pygmy Cormorants, the herrons, the glossy ibises, the last breeding population of Graylag Goose in Greece, the wolves and the otters,  are some of the “heroes” that form the biodiversity of Prespa. The ecosystem of Prespa conserves at the most its natural values through time. Nevertheless, pressures are intensive and put into danger the biodiversity and its “heroes”, as well as the quality of life of the people, which is directly connected to the landscape and the natural environment.

Prespa is one of the last remaining “treasures” of biodiversity that is still possible to conserve. The protection of the area , through integrated environmental management, lies to the responsibility of each of us.

For more information:

Marianna Vlassi, Communication Coordinator of the Society for the Protection of Prespa, (0030) 23850-51211, (0030) 6947692357


 

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