LIFE Project Cover Photo

Conservation of priority species and habitats of Andros Island protected area integrating socioeconomic considerations

Reference: LIFE16 NAT/GR/000606 | Acronym: LIFE Andros Park

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

Andros is the northernmost island of the Cyclades (Greece). Its mountains cause high local precipitation, while the lowlands have very dry summers typical of the Cyclades. These diverse climatic conditions, combined with non-limestone substrates and small rivers crossing the mountain valley, result in a great diversity of habitats, including alluvial forests - a priority habitat for conservation in the Habitats Directive. The marine area around Andros is one of Greece’s most important areas for seabirds and marine mammals. The coastline has numerous partially or totally submerged marine caves - another priority habitat - which are important for Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus), a priority species in Annex II of the Habitats Directive. The rocky coasts and 16 adjacent uninhabited islets are important nesting and roosting areas for Mediterranean shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii), Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii) and Eleonora’s Falcon (Falco eleonorae): all in Annex I of the Birds Directive. The main terrestrial threats to these species include road construction, garbage disposal, wetland degradation, overgrazing, heavy flooding, soil erosion, the abandonment of traditional farming practices and electricity generation infrastructure. The main marine threats include overfishing, illegal and unsustainable fishing, marine debris and abandoned fishing gear (‘ghost fishing’).


OBJECTIVES

The overall objective of LIFE Andros Park is to implement conservation and restoration actions to significantly restore and improve the conservation status of the Habitats Directive Annex I priority terrestrial habitat, alluvial forests (91E0*), as well as the priority marine species, Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus ), and the priority coastal seabirds, Mediterranean shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii ) and Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii ). The ultimate aim is to establish a holistic management scheme for the Andros Natura 2000 network sites and their protection zones, as adopted by the relevant ministerial decree for Andros Island Park. The main specific project objectives include: protection of alluvial forests habitat from the threats of overgrazing, soil erosion, river flooding and wild fires; and introduction of an effective management system to protect priority marine species from harmful marine debris. The project intends to involve local stakeholders and volunteers actively in the planning and the implementation of project interventions.

Expected results:

  • Improved conservation status of 100% (29 ha) of the alluvial forests habitat (91E0*) in the Andros Natura 2000 SAC site and 100% of the local Mediterranean monk seal, Mediterranean shag and Audouin’s gull populations;
  • Updated baseline information for the target priority habitat and species and their associated conservation problems/threats;
  • Technical plans to address erosion, flooding, fire and grazing problems, and to remove marine plastic debris and derelict fishing gear;
  • Protection of selected sites within the alluvial forests habitat through measures to mitigate against erosion and flooding (e.g. restoration of 6 km of stone walls along streams), fires (10 water tanks and repair of 5 km of stone walls) and grazing (1.8 km of fencing), as well as targeted interventions to eradicate invasive giant reed;
  • Restoration of about 11 ha of destroyed/deteriorated alluvial forest habitat and creation of an 800 m2 plant nursery;
  • Removal of marine plastic debris and derelict fishing gear from at least 6 marine caves, 20 km2 of offshore marine areas, 10 km of coastline, and 10 islets that are vital for marine priority species;
  • Implementation of fishing spatial planning for effective mitigation of local fishermen’s reactions against protection measures for Mediterranean monk seal (involving at least 50% of local professional fisheries);
  • An Andros brand for value-added fisheries products established and to boost promotion of fishing tourism;
  • Reduction of seal and seabird mortality due to marine debris and negative interactions with fisheries, by 50% and 40% respectively;
  • Germplasm collection and a seed bank created for essential plant and alder-associated macrofungi species for an effective ex-situ conservation of plant species; and
  • A botanical garden created for the preservation of a living plant collection from the targeted habitat and for promoting ex-situ conservation and various educational and public awareness activities.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


    Reference: LIFE16 NAT/GR/000606
    Acronym: LIFE Andros Park
    Start Date: 01/09/2017
    End Date: 30/09/2022
    Total Budget: 2,345,329 €
    EU Contribution: 1,754,918 €
    Project Location:

    CONTACT DETAILS


    Coordinating Beneficiary: AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: IERA ODOS 75, 11855, Athens, Ellas
    Contact Person: Georgios Zervakis
    Email: zervakis@aua.gr
    Tel: 302105294341
    Website: http://www.aua.gr


    LIFE Project Map

    ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

    THEMES

    • Birds
    • Mammals
    • Forests

    KEYWORDS

    • grazing
    • tourism
    • coastal area
    • nature conservation
    • marine environment
    • management plan
    • restoration measure
    • flood protection
    • fire protection
    • erosion control

    TARGET EU LEGISLATION

    • Directive 2007/60 - Assessment and management of flood risks (23.10.2007)
    • COM(2006)231 - “Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection” (22.09.2006)
    • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)
    • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) (30.11.2009)
    • Regulation 1143/2014 - Prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species (22.10.2014)

    TARGET HABITAT TYPES

    • 91E0 - "Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)"

    SPECIES

    • Larus audouinii
    • Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii
    • Monachus monachus

    NATURA 2000 SITES

    Type Code Name
    SCI GR4220001 ANDROS: ORMOS VITALI KAI KENTRIKOS OREINOS OGKOS (DEPRECATED)
    SPA GR4220028 ANDROS: KENTRIKO KAI NOTIO TMIMA, GYRO NISIDES KAI PARAKTIA THALASSIA ZONI (DEPRECATED)

    BENEFICIARIES

    Name Type
    AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS Coordinator
    Kaireios Library, Greece Participant
    MOm/ Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal, Greece Participant
    Fundación CBD para la Conservación de la Biodiversidad y su Habitat, Spain Participant
    Municipality of Andros, Greece Participant
    Nature Conservation Consultants Ltd, Greece Participant
    Hellenic Agricultural Organization - Demeter, Greece Participant