With the integration in Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency (NECCA) of the Management Body of Dodecanese Protected Areas, the Management Unit of the Southeastern Aegean Protected Areas operates under N.E.C.C.A.’s Protected Areas Management Directorate (Sector B), based in Karpathos with a branch office in Rhodes.
Its spatial area of jurisdiction includes the following Natura 2000 sites:
|GR4210001||KASOS KAI KASONISIA – EVRYTERI THALASSIA PERIOCHI|
|GR4210002||KENTRIKI KARPATHOS: KALI LIMNI – LASTOS – KYRA PANAGIA KAI PARAKTIA THALASSIA ZONI|
|GR4210003||VOREIA KARPATHOS KAI SARIA KAI PARAKTIA THALASSIA ZONI|
|GR4210004||KASTELLORIZO KAI NISIDES RO KAI STRONGYLI KAI PARAKTIA THALASSIA ZONI|
|GR4210005||RODOS: AKRAMYTIS ARMENISTIS ATTAVYROS REMATA KAI THALASSIA ZONI (KARAVOLA – ORMOS GLYFADA)|
|GR4210006||RODOS: PROFITIS ILIAS – EPTA PIGES – PETALOUDES – REMATA|
|GR4210007||NOTIA NISYROS KAI STRONGYLI IFAISTIAKO PEDIO KAI PARAKTIA THALASSIA ZONI|
|GR4210008||KOS: AKROTIRIO LOUROS – LIMNI PSALIDA – OROS DIKAIOS – ALYKI – PARAKTIA THALASSIA ZONI|
|GR4210010||ARKOI LEIPSOI AGATHONISI KAI VRACHONISIDES|
|GR4210014||NISIDES PATMOU: PETROKARAVO ANYDROS|
|GR4210019||NISIDES KALYMNOU: EPANO NERA SARI TELENDOS KAI THALASSIA PERIOCHI|
|GR4210024||NISOS TILOS KAI NISIDES: ANTITILOS PELEKOUSA GAIDOURONISI GIAKOUMIS AGIOS ANDREAS PRASOUDA NISI KAI THALASSIA PERIOCHI|
|GR4210025||ANATOLIKO TMIMA NISOU SYMIS KAI NISIDES KOULOUNDROS SESKLI TROUMPETO MARMARAS KARAVALONISI MEGALONISI GIALESINO OXEIA CHONDROS PLAT|
|GR4210026||NISOS CHALKI KAI NISIDES: KOLOFONA PANO PRASSOUDA TRAGOUSA STRONGYLI AGIOS THEODOROS MAELONISI ALIMIA KREVVATI NISAKI MAKRY KAI THALASS|
|GR4210027||KOS: LIMNI PSALIDI – ALYKI|
|GR4210028||NISOS KASOS KAI SYMPLEGMA KASONISION KAI THALASSIA PERIOCHI|
|GR4210029||ANATOLIKI RODOS: PROFITIS ILIAS – EPTA PIGES – EKVOLI LOUTANI – KATERGO REMA GADOURA – CHERSONISOS LINDOU – NISIDES PENTANISA KAI TETRAPOLIS|
|GR4210030||DYTIKI RODOS: ORI ATTAVYROS KAI AKRAMYTIS TECHNITI LIMNI APOLAKKIAS KAI NISIDES GEORGIOU STRONGYLI CHTENIES KAI KARAVOLAS|
|GR4210031||NOTIO AKRO RODOU PRASONISI YGROTOPOS LIVADI KATTAVIAS|
|GR4210032||NISOS NISYROS KAI NISIDES|
|GR4210033||THALASSIA PERIOCHI NOTIAS PATMOU|
|GR4210034||NISIDES VOREION DODEKANISON KAI THALASSIA PERIOCHI|
The authorization of the Management Unit of Southeastern Aegean Protected Areas extends to 22 NATURA 2000 sites of the Dodecanese prefecture, ranging from the largest and most populated islands to the most distant and uninhabited islets. Within this area a few typical mediterannean habitats are found, like scrubland, pine forests, maquis shrubland with thickets of olive groves, small wetlands, rocky coastal slopes and Posidonia seabeds. The biodiversity of Dodecanese features a significant rate of endemism as well as rarity, due to its geographical remoteness, therefore being vulnerable to a variety of pressures and threats. Endemic species of flora include, indicatively, the scree plants Silene holzmanii, Ricotia isatoides, Campanula carpatha and Campanula pinatzii. Among the well-known endemic fauna species are included the amphibians Pelophylax cerigensis and Lyciasalamandra helverseni and the fish Ladigesocypris ghigii.
The region of Dodecanese features a marine environment with a rich species biodiversity in a wide variety of taxa, ranging from the epifauna and epiflora to cetaceans and marine mammals. In specific, the greater marine area has been identified as a very significant site for the reproduction of the Mediterannean Monk Seal (Μonachus monachus), due to the presence of caves along the rocky shores of the islands, which serve as shelters for rest and reproduction. Substantial presence displays the priority habitat 1120, which comprises Posidonia seagrass meadows around the coasts of several Dodecanese islands (Rhodes, Karpathos, Kasos, Nisyros, Astypalaia) and hosts the bivalves Pinna nobilis and Arca noae.
Ministerial decree 50743/11-12-2017 (GG 4432/Β’/15-12-2017) «Review of the national list of the European Ecological Network NATURA 2000».
Northern Karpathos And Saria Protected Area
The habitat types that occur in the Northern Karpathos and Saria protected area, are the following:
1120: * Posidonia beds (Posidonia oceanicae)
1240: Vegetated sea cliffs of the Mediterranean coasts with endemic Limonium spp.
1310: Salicornia and other annuals colonizing mud and sand
1410: Mediterranean salt meadows (Juncetalia maritimi)
1430: Halo-nitrophilous scrubs (Pegano-Salsoletea)
3290: Intermittently flowing Mediterranean rivers of the Paspalo-Agrostidion
5210Arborescent matorral with Juniperus spp.
5330: Thermo-Mediterranean and pre-desert scrub
5420: Sarcopoterium spinosum phryganas
6220: Pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals of the Thero-Brachypodietea
8140: Eastern Mediterranean screes
8210: Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation
8260: Acrocladio−Adiantetum vegetation
8310: Caves not open to the public
8330: Submerged or partially submerged sea caves
9320: Olea and Ceratonia forests
9540: Mediterranean pine forests with endemic Mesogean pines
92D0: Southern riparian galleries and thickets (Nerio-Tamaricetea and Securinegion tinctoriae)
By virtue of its insular isolation, Karpathos Island exhibits a remarkable variety of rare and endemic species of flora, a few of them of global importance. Today in the Northern Karpathos – Saria region have been recorded 86 species, regarded as endemics, rare or endangered. Perhaps due to landscape variations and limited human activities, the great majority of these rare and endemic species occur in the northern part of the island.
The flowers Cretan Birthwort (Aristolochia cretica), Carpathian Campanula (Campanula carpatha), Pinatzii Campanula (Campanula pinatzii), Carpathian Pink (Dianthus fruticosus ssp. carpathus), Carpathian Wallflower (Erysimum candicum ssp. carpathum), Aegean Orchid (Ophrys aegaea), Common Sage (Phlomis pichleri) και Carpathian Coastal Campion (Silene ammophila ssp. carpathae) are endemic species of the Karpathos-Kasos insular complex.
Endemic species of the Cretan region (Karpathos, Kasos, Crete and adjacent islets) include: Aegean Knapweed (Centaurea raphanina ssp. raphanina), Cretan Hawksbeard (Crepis cretica), Mediterranean Currybush (Hypericum cuisinii), Cretan White Peony (Paeonia clusii ssp. clusii), Cretan Stonecrop (Sedum creticum & Sedum creticum monocarpicum), Everlasting Groundsel (Senecio gnaphaloides), Prickly Woundwort (Stachys mucronata), Autumn Daffodil (Sternbergia greuteriana), Little Germander (Teucrium gracile), a clover species (Trifolium praetermissum) and Cretan Valerian (Valeriana asarifolia).
Other important species, rare or endemic, that occur in the area are: Hawksbeard (Crepis fraasii), Tree Flax (Linum arboreum), a lomelosia species (Lomelosia variifolia), Bean Campion (Silene fabaria) and Holzman’s Silene (Silene holzmanii) which is included in the Annex ΙΙ of the 92/43/EEC Directive.
PHRYGANA – SHRUBS
Phrygana and Mediterranean shrubs constitute the dominant vegetation of the protected area. Especially phrygana constitute the unique vegetation zone of the western part of northern Karpathos and the northern and western part of Saria. Typical species are: Mediterranean Dwarf-shrub (Sarcopoterium spinosum), Lampwick plants (Phlomis sp.), Conehead Thyme (Coridothymus capitatus), Greek Spiny Spurge (Euphorbia acanthothamnos), Cretan Cistus (Cistus creticus), Carpathian Statice (Limonium carpathum), Tree Spurge (Euphorbia dendroides), Phoenicean Juniper (Juniperus phoenicea)
Turkish pine forests of significant representativity and good conservation status extend along the eastern coast of northern Karpathos, as well as the southern slopes of Saria. Areas covered by Turkish pines before the 1983 wildfire, that devastated a great part of the forest, are presenting signs of reforestation. The pine forest’s understory consists of shrubby species like Evergreen Pistache (Pistacia lentiscus), Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqua), Lycian Buckthorn (Rhamnus lycioides), Conehead Thyme (Coridothymus capitatus) etc.
The most significant species in terms of conservation, in the Northern Karpathos – Saria protected area, is the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus). The Mediterranean Monk Seal is included in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Threatened Species Catalogue (IUCN 1996), as well as the “Red Book of Threatened Vertebrates of Greece” (Hellenic Zoological Society 1992) and the annex of the 67/1981 Presidential Decree fauna species list.
Greece hosts the larger Mediterranean monk seal population, which is estimated from 200 to 300 individuals (IUCN 1998). The species is widely distributed throughout the Greek marine territory and can be found in the Northern Sporades archipelago (National Marine Park of Alonissos Northern Sporades), Northwestern Cyclades (Kimolos – Polyaigos insular complex), Ionian Sea (Zakynthos, Cephalonia, Paxoi) and Dodecanese archipelago (Kasos, Karpathos). The Northern Karpathos and Saria protected area is identified as a very significant habitat for the Mediterranean monk seal, due to the availability of suitable coastal refuges, which the species use as resting or breeding places. The local population is estimated to exceed 30 – 35 individuals, juveniles excluded (MOm 2009).
The main threat for the species is the lack of suitable sites for resting and breeding and disturbance by unrestrained and haphazard resort development. Moreover, intense fishing practices, like trawling or purse-seine fishing, jeopardize the fisheries sustainability and consequently, the food supply for the Mediterranean monk seal.
Other mammal species that occur in the area are: The European hare (Lepus europaeus), the Stone martin (Martes foina), the rodents Crocidura suaveolens, Apodemus mystacinus, Rattus rattus and Mus domesticus (=Mus musculus) and the bats Tadarida teniotis, Myotis emarginatus, Myotis blythii, Pipistrellus kuhlii και Rhinolophus blasii.
As regards the avifauna of Karpathos Island, recent scientific research has confirmed the presence of 127 species, including 24 sedentary species, 20 migratory species breeding during summer season, 17 migratory species with presence during the winter season and 9 species with random occurrence in the area. Besides 34 bird species are listed in the Annex I, 12 species in the Annex II and 2 species in the Annex III of the 79/409 European Council’s Directive on the conservation of wild birds.
Among the commonest and well-known bird species of the area, are the Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae), which nests colonially on coastal cliffs or deserted islets from April till October, the Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata), which is regarded as a rare and threatened raptor species in Greece, and the Chukar partridge (Alectoris chukar), whose population is decreasing because of intense hunting.
The amphibians’ class presents a low diversity in the area of Karpathos and its adjacent islands. However, there is a couple of recorded species that are identified as particularly rare and endemic. A characteristic example is the salamander Lyciasalamandra helverseni, commonly known as Kochylina, which is the only endemic species of the Urodela order in Greece. It is listed as a protected species in the 67/1981 Presidential Decree, the Bern Convention, the 92/43/EEC Directive and is included in the Red Data Book of the Threatened Vertebrates of Greece. The Kochylina salamander occurs only in Karpathos, Saria, Kasos and Kastelorizo and nowhere else worldwide. It is viviparous, occurs in dry habitats in places with high humidity, such as the underside of rocks in stone walls or wooded areas and remains active from October until April.
The other endemic amphibian species of Karpathos is the frog Pelophylax cerigensis. It is a small sized frog that can reach up to 7 cm in length and lives in freshwater ponds, rivers, or intermittent brooks. It occurs in scattered populations that located only in northern Karpathos, is classified as Critically Endangered (IUCN 2010) and is enlisted in the Bern Convention’s Annex III.
Serpent species of interest include the Kotschy’s Gecko (Cyrtopodion kotschyi oertzeni) and the Snake-eyed Skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii fabichi), as they occur only at the insular complex of Karpathos, Saria, Kasos and Armathia. Both species are registered as protected at the 67/1981 Presidential Decree, and the Bern Convention in addition to the Snake-eyed Skink’s enlistment in the Annex IV of 92/43/EEC Directive. Other species that occur in the area are the Snake-eyed lizard (Ophisops elegans), the Ocellated skink (Chalcides ocellatus), the Turkish gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus), the Grass snake (Natrix natrix) and the Caspian whipsnake (Dolichophis caspius), all of them listed in the 67/1981 Presidential Decree, the Bern Convention and the 92/43/EEC Directive, as protected species.
The domain of action of the Management Unit of Southeastern Aegean Protected Areas include:
– the implementation, monitoring, assessment and update of the management plans that pertain to the sustainability and protection of the natural assets of the respective NATURA 2000 sites
– the reservation and utilization of the necessary funding for the promotion of new patterns of local development
– the elaboration of studies and research as well as the implementation of projects that are prescribed in the corresponding management plans and they are also considered necessary for the protection, the preservation, the restoration and the promotion of the protectable items of the respective protected areas
– the responsibility for the assembly, classification and elaboration of data and environmental input, including elements of intangible cultural heritage, that serve as a source of feedback for the updating of the local management plans and compulsory reporting to the Ministry of Environment and Energy
– the provision of justified opinion in the context of environmental licensing of projects and activities, that take place within the boundaries of the respective protected areas and have a potential direct or indirect effect upon the protected items
Projects that have been carried out by the Management Unit or are being carried out currently by the Management Unit are listed on the table below:
|Timeline||Financial instrument||Project title||Budget|
|26.09.2006 – 31.12.2009||O.P. «ENVIRONMENT» 2000-2006||Management and operation of the protected area of Karpathos and Saria||1.089.057,40 €|
|18.03.2008 – 31.12.2015||NSRF 2007-2013, O.P. «Crete and Aegean islands»||Organization of the operation of the protected area of the northern Karpathos and Saria and the management authority||2.494.017,27 €|
|27.05.2014 – 31.12.2015||MedPAN Association||MEET Project / Mediterranean experience of Ecotourism||44.650,00 €|
|12.03.2018 – 30.06.2021||NSRF 2014-2020, O.P. «South Aegean»||Management interventions to N. Karpathos and Saria Protected Area||241.890,00 €|
|14.07.2020 – 31.12.2023||NSRF 2014-2020, O.P. «Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development»||Support of the Dodecanese Protected Areas Management Body for the implementation of management measures for protected areas, species and habitats.||1.000.000,00 €|
The economic activities that occur in the protected areas of Dodecanese pertain mainly to the primary sector, including agriculture, stock-farming and fishing. However, the contribution of the primary sector to the local income decreases over time, except for the fish farming industry. As regards the land use, it includes mostly arable land, pastures, fallow land and urban areas.
The cultural heritage of the protected area has been identified and distinguished by the national legislation, thanks to the declaration of the greater part of Northern Karpathos as an archaeological site. The boundaries of the archaeological site enclose the traditional settlement of Olympos village, where ancient architectural parts, byzantine churches and windmills are found, the traditional settlement of Avlona, where a gravesite of the Late Bronze Age is located, Diafani village, where a grave site of the Minoan era is found and byzantine remnants at the locations of Kampi and Palaia, Steno, where lies an Early Christian basilica, Tristomo, where remains of Early Christian basilicas are found and it is the alleged location of a Temple of Neptune and the relics of the citadel and the necropolis of ancient Vroukounda.
A separate archaeological site, includes the whole island of Saria, north of Karpathos. In specific a well-preserved medieval settlement is located at the cove of Palatia, along with remains of Early Christian basilicas. Evidence of prehistoric residence has been found at the sites “Argos” and “Kato Gi”, near Palatia.