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Location Greece, East Macedonia and Thrace
Central coordinates 24o 48.00' East  40o 58.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, C6
Area 22,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Hellenic Ornithological Society

Site description The site consists of a series of brackish lagoons and arable fields with fragmented patches of freshwater marsh, grassland, saltmarsh and forest. Human activities include agriculture, fishing, forestry and tourism.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for breeding, passage and wintering waterbirds, raptors and passerines associated with reedbeds. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Branta ruficollis (wintering), Haliaeetus albicilla (5 resident individuals), Aquila heliaca (wintering), Gallinago media (25 wintering individuals), Larus audouinii (passage).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus winter  26 individuals  A1, C1  Vulnerable 
Mute Swan Cygnus olor winter  1996  200-1,300 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca passage  abundant  A1, C1  Near Threatened 
Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan winter  1996  400 individuals  B1ii, C2  Vulnerable 
White Stork Ciconia ciconia breeding  abundant  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  abundant  C6  Not Recognised 
Great White Egret Ardea alba winter  1996  120-500 individuals  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1996  10-35 individuals  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Vulnerable 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus passage  1996  abundant  A1, C1  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1996  250-1,800 individuals  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Least Concern 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus resident  1996  common  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1996  150-3,300 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis resident  max 50 breeding pairs  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  abundant  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes breeding  10 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  1997  4-16 individuals  A1, C1  Vulnerable 
Burhinus oedicnemus breeding  1996  20-40 breeding pairs  C6  Not Recognised 
Charadrius alexandrinus resident  40-70 breeding pairs  B2  Not Recognised 
Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus breeding  1993  25-33 breeding pairs  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris passage  rare  A1, C1  Critically Endangered 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola breeding  1996  20-100 breeding pairs  A4i, B1i, B2, C2  Least Concern 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus breeding  300-700 breeding pairs  B3, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1996  80-450 breeding pairs  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus resident  abundant  B3, C6  Least Concern 
Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor breeding  abundant  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus breeding  common  B2  Least Concern 
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla breeding  abundant  C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Anatolikis Makedonias kai Thrakis (Delta Nestou - Vistonidas - Ismaridas) National Park 93,135 protected area overlaps with site 20,267  
Kotza Orman Nestou Dimou Topeirou Wildlife Refuge 8,302 protected area contained by site 8,302  
Nestos delta and adjoining lagoons Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 21,930 protected area overlaps with site 19,749  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland  10%
Grassland Humid grasslands  10%
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  7%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry plantations  20%
Coastline Lagoons; Mud flats & sand flats; Sand dunes & beaches; Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 20%
fisheries/aquaculture 30%
forestry 10%
water management 50%
tourism/recreation 5%

Protection status National Partial International Partial930 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Dasohoriou (Foni tis Amerikis)/Erasmiou, 930 ha). 7,800 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Dasos Nestou (Kotza Orman), 7,800 ha). Part of IBA overlaps with Protected Area. Part of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Nestos delta, 21,930 ha). 9,459 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Delta Nestou, 9,459 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Nestos delta and coastal lagoons. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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