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Location Greece, East Macedonia and Thrace
Central coordinates 26o 30.00' East  41o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B2, B3, C1, C6
Area 20,000 ha
Altitude 30 - 60m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Hellenic Ornithological Society

Site description This site stretches along the River Evros, from Pithio to Ormenio, and part of the River Ardas. Riverine forest is dominated by Populus and Salix species. The forest exists in a mosaic of grassland, scrub, freshwater ponds with reedbeds (Phragmites) and some arable land. A large part of the area is a military zone.

Key Biodiversity The site is very important for breeding, migrating and wintering waterbirds, raptors and passerines. Two heronries with more than 250 pairs of Nycticorax nycticorax, Egretta garzetta and Ardea cinerea lie within the IBA.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  1997  120 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus non-breeding  1997  40 individuals  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes breeding  1997  20 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus resident  1997  common  B3, C6  Least Concern 
Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor breeding  1997  common  B2, C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kalos Gialas/Plati - Arzou - Rizion - Filakiou Wildlife Refuge 400 protected area overlaps with site 400  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest  60%
Shrubland Scrub  5%
Grassland Humid grasslands  5%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  25%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Other urban and industrial areas  10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 20%
fisheries/aquaculture 10%
military 80%
urban/industrial/transport 10%
water management 30%

Protection status National Low International None400 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Kalos Gialas/Plati-Arzou-Rizion-Filakiou, 400 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Northern Evros and Ardas riparian forest. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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