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Location Greece, Central Macedonia
Central coordinates 22o 43.00' East  40o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 20,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Hellenic Ornithological Society



Site description A coastal wetland of small lagoons, sandflats, and alluvial forests dominated by Tamarix, Alnus, and Salix. Human activities include rice production, livestock farming, fishing and mussel culture.

Key Biodiversity This is a very important site for breeding, passage and wintering waterbirds. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aythya nyroca (passage), Haliaeetus albicilla (wintering), Aquila clanga (1-3 wintering individuals), Gallinago media (passage). The site holds 20,000 or more waterbirds in winter, on a regular basis (including Phalacrocorax pygmeus 5,000; Anas penelope 1,000; Calidris alpina 2,500; Larus ridibundus 7,000; Larus cachinnans 5,000).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia breeding  1995  16-50 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  1990  30-80 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Egretta garzetta breeding  1990  274-700 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Not Recognised 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  1990  420-800 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  1990  150-300 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus passage  1990  5-50 individuals  medium  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1997  5,000 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Least Concern 
Haematopus ostralegus breeding  1996  5-15 breeding pairs  medium  B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  1996  100-150 breeding pairs  good  B1i, C2  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1996  50-70 breeding pairs  good  B3, C6  Least Concern 
Charadrius alexandrinus breeding  1990  50-100 breeding pairs  medium  B1i, B2, C3  Not Recognised 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  1990  100-4,000 individuals  medium  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris passage  1 individuals  medium  A1, C1  Critically Endangered 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola breeding  1996  50-100 breeding pairs  medium  A4i, B1i, B2, C2  Least Concern 
Larus michahellis winter  1990  5,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus breeding  1996  800-1,400 breeding pairs  medium  A4i, B1i, B3, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1996  70-130 breeding pairs  medium  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla breeding  1990  frequent  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Axios, Loudias, Aliakmon Delta Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 11,808 protected area overlaps with site 11,669  
Delta Aliakmona (Kleidiou) Wildlife Refuge 2,002 protected area contained by site 1,253  
DELTA AXIOU - LOUDIA - ALIAKMONA - ALYKI KITROUS - GR1220010 Birds Directive 29,647 protected area overlaps with site 14,110  
DELTA AXIOU - LOUDIA - ALIAKMONA - EVRYTERI PERIOCHI - AXIOUPOLI - GR1220002 Habitats Directive 33,676 protected area overlaps with site 17,066  
Delta Axiou (Chalastras) Wildlife Refuge 5,205 protected area contained by site 5,205  
Stergios-Aliakmonas (Aiginiou) Wildlife Refuge 2,659 protected area contained by site 2,659  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest  10%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  30%
Coastline Lagoons; Salt marshes; Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 80%
fisheries/aquaculture 30%
hunting 50%
nature conservation and research 30%
tourism/recreation 10%

Protection status National Partial International Partial2,381 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Stergiou-Aliakmon/Aiginiou, 2,381 ha). 1,200 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Delta Aliakmona/Kleidiou, 1,200 ha). 2,150 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Delta Axiou-Chalastras, 2,150 ha). Part of IBA overlaps with Protected Area. 11,808 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Delta Axiou, Loudia and Aliakmon-Alyki Kitrous, 11,808 ha). 13,763 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Delta Axiou-Loudia- Aliakmona-Alyki Kitrous, 13,763 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Axios, Loudias, and Aliakmon estuaries. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife