The landscape of mainland Greece is characterised by a mountainous interior (average altitude 500 m), with mountain ranges extending into the sea forming a heavily indented coastline and island chains. The interior is intersected by valleys, and interspersed with plateaux and major lake systems. Greece has a coastline of 13,676 km, some notable coastal lowlands, and around 2,000 marine islands and rocky islets.
Key habitats: Arable agriculture occupies 22% of the total land area (permanent cropland 8.5%). Forest, scrubland/maquis and eroded/dry areas are around 45%, of which grazing land comprises 20% of the national total, 9% is urban and 4% uninhabited rocky islets. About half of the arable and grazing lands are in the coastal wetland plains. Lakes and temporary wetlands cover approximately 1,140 km2.
Total number of species recorded: 423 Number of globally threatened species: 8 Number of Near Threatened species: 6 Number of Important Bird Areas: 196
Threats: Agricultural intensification, land redistribution schemes (amalgamation of fields and the consequent loss of scrubland and isolated trees), overgrazing, illegal hunting, illegal use of poisoned baits, recreation and tourism, wetland degradation, fires and intensified forest management.
Number of National Parks (including marine parks): 11 (Although there is no coherent state programme for their effective management) The BirdLife Partner: Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS). Date founded: 1982. Number of members: 500 Major programmes/areas of work: HOS's Important Bird Area (IBA) programme has helped shape the country's conservation policies. Since 1998, the organisation's expertise has enabled the government to identify and gazette 151 Special Protection Areas out of the 196 IBAs recognised by HOS and BirdLife.
A major conservation project on the Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae in the Mediterranean will be implemented from 2003 to 2007, in collaboration with the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and other BirdLife partners, while an advocacy initiative on illegal hunting is also envisaged.
Text courtesy Birdlife International
Collared Flycatcher © Francisco Javier Garcia Vargas
Showing the 59 Most Recent Trip Reports Posted
Samos - September 2008, author Alan Miller (added October 1, 2008)
(Anne and I made a September visit to Samos to experience autumn on a Greek island. We were not disappointed with good weather, delicious food, friendly people and an interesting range of birds and butterflies.)
Lake Kerkini National Park - 30th October - 4th November 2017, author Christopher Hall (link created November 25, 2017)
Lake Kerkini National Park, Greece - 5th - 9th November 2015, author Christopher Hall (added November 12, 2015)
(Dalmatian Pelican, Syrian Woodpecker, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Rock Sparrow, Sombre Tit)
Lake Kerkini National Park, Greece - 29th April - 5th May 2017, author Christopher Hall (link created May 8, 2017)
Lesvos ‘Migration Island’ - 25th April – 2nd May 2015, author Christopher Hall (added May 7, 2015)
(Demoiselle Crane; Kruper's Nuthatch, Little Crake, Sombre Tit)
Paralia, Pieria region, Northern Greece - 2nd - 13th May 2018, author Mark Graham (added May 14, 2018)
Birding Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania with AVESTOURS, author Avestours (added July 24, 2005)
(Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania)
Northern Greece, birding tour to Lake Kerkini, Lake Doiran and Axios Delta, author Ivailo Nikolov (link created December 19, 2006)
(Kerkini, Greece, Doiran, Flamingo, Greater Spotted Eagle, Bulgaria)
Lesvos, Greece 7th - 21st May 2009, author Mick Sveikutis (added August 20, 2009)
(Skala Kaloni, Anaxos, Petri, Molivos, Sigri, Ipsilou, Little Bittern, Rufous Bush Chat, Sombre Tit, Pallid Harrier, Honey Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Black Stork, Gull-billed Tern, Kruper´s Nuthatch, Olive-tree Warbler)
Eastern Mediterranean Birding - Lesvos - 12-18th May 2005, author Steve Richards (added August 16, 2005)
Lesvos ‘Migration Island’ - 19th – 26th April 2014, author Christopher Hall (added April 28, 2014)
Greece April 2008, author Joe Ray (link created April 28, 2008)
(Pellopennese, Athens, Gialova, Schinias, Rock Nuthatch, Red-rumped Swallow, Lanner, Night Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Marsh Sandpiper, Rock Bunting, Wryneck, Hoopoe, Zitting Cisticola)