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Location Greece, East Macedonia and Thrace
Central coordinates 24o 43.00' East  41o 8.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B2, C1, C6
Area 14,500 ha
Altitude 10 - 1,268m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Hellenic Ornithological Society

Site description The site has a large gorge with steep rocky slopes. Forest occupies the bottom of the gorge whilst the surrounding mountain slopes are covered with a mixture of forest and maquis. Human activities include agriculture, mining, tourism and hunting.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for breeding, passage and wintering raptors. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (wintering), Aegypius monachus (passage), Aquila clanga (wintering), Aquila heliaca (wintering), Falco naumanni (passage), Gallinago media (passage).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  60 individuals  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus breeding  1996  16 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Eagle-owl Bubo bubo breeding  2-3 breeding pairs  B2, C6  Least Concern 
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster breeding  50-100 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Stena Nestou Kavalas - Xanthis Aesthetic Forest 2,286 protected area contained by site 2,380  
Stena Nestou/Kehrokambos Wildlife Refuge 1,125 protected area overlaps with site 1,125  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland  40%
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis  45%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams  5%
Rocky areas Inland cliffs  5%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  5%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 45%
fisheries/aquaculture 5%
forestry 35%
nature conservation and research 20%
tourism/recreation 5%
urban/industrial/transport 5%
water management 5%

Protection status National Partial International Partial2,380 ha of IBA covered by Aesthetic Forest (Stena Nestou, 2,380 ha). 1,125 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Stena Nestou/Kehrokambos, 1,125 ha). 3,000 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Stena Nestou/Stavroupolis, 3,000 ha). 2,336 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Stena Nestou, 2,336 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Nestos gorge. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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