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Location Greece, Western Greece
Central coordinates 21o 20.00' East  38o 20.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 50,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 450m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Hellenic Ornithological Society



Site description A wetland complex with lagoons, saltpans (`Other' land-use, below), extensive saltmarshes, freshwater marshes, sandbanks, and a remnant area of alluvial forest.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1988  10,000 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina winter  1988  11,100 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus passage  1990  500-1,800 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1988  1,550 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  1990  12-15 breeding pairs  good  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus resident  common  C6  Least Concern 
Burhinus oedicnemus breeding  1990  39 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Not Recognised 
Haematopus ostralegus resident  1990  25 breeding pairs  good  B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1990  23 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1988  300 individuals  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Charadrius alexandrinus resident  1990  200 breeding pairs  good  B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris passage  present  A1, C1  Critically Endangered 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola breeding  1990  66-77 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Sterna nilotica breeding  1990  110 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia resident  1996  10-20 breeding pairs  medium  C2  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1990  489-500 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla breeding  1990  1,200-1,250 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1998  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Asprolithi Dimou Mesolongiou Wildlife Refuge 1,603 protected area contained by site 1,603  
DELTA ACHELOOU, LIMNOTHALASSA MESOLONGIOU - AITOLIKOU KAI EKVOLES EVINOU, NISOI ECHINADES, NISOS PETALAS, DYTIKOS ARAKYNTHOS KAI STENA KLEISOURAS - GR2310015 Birds Directive 44,186 protected area overlaps with site 40,070  
DELTA ACHELOOU, LIMNOTHALASSA MESOLONGIOU - AITOLIKOU, EKVOLES EVINOU, NISOI ECHINADES, NISOS PETALAS - GR2310001 Habitats Directive 35,510 protected area overlaps with site 31,421  
Kantilia-Valti (Astakou) Wildlife Refuge 2,420 protected area overlaps with site 1,084  
Lesini Ash Forest Natural Monument 46 protected area contained by site 51  
Mesolongi and Aetoliko lagoons National Park 59,506 protected area overlaps with site 31,194  
Mesolongi and Aetoliko lagoons, and Acheloos and Biogenetic Reserves 0 protected area overlaps with site 43  
Messolonghi lagoons Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 33,687 protected area overlaps with site 31,707  
OROS ARAKYNTHOS KAI STENA KLEISOURAS - GR2310010 Habitats Directive 13,331 protected area overlaps with site 6,264  
OROS VARASOVA - GR2310005 Habitats Directive 1,443 protected area contained by site 1,443  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest; Broadleaved deciduous woodland  7%
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis  8%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams  -
Coastline Lagoons; Mud flats & sand flats; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture 50%
forestry -
tourism/recreation -
other 5%

Protection status National Partial International Partial1,000 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Varasova/Galata-Perithoriou, 1,000 ha). 550 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Pouri-Asprolith/A. Kerasovou, 550 ha). Part of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Kantilia-Valti/Astakou, 3,500 ha). 46 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Lesini Ash Forest, 46 ha). Part of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Messolonghi Lagoons, 33,687 ha). 33,000 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Delta Acheloou, Limnothalassa Mesolongiou-Aitoliko kai Ekvoles Evinou, 34,941 ha). Part of IBA covered by Biogenetic Reserve.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mesolongi and Aetoliko lagoons, and Acheloos and Evinos estuaries. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2014

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