Management of the SPA Site of Andros Island to Achieve a Favourable Conservation Status for its Priority Species (ANDROSSPA LIFE10 NAT/GR/637)
“Our origin is very much older than that of the dwellers of Mount Olympus… And what important services do not the birds render to mortals? … Through us you will know the winds and the seasons, summer, winter and the temperate months. We shall not withdraw ourselves to the highest clouds like Zeus, but shall be among you and shall give to you and to your children and to the children of your children health and wealth, long life, peace, youth, laughter, songs and feasts. … Is it not the most priceless gift of all to be winged?”
Aristophanes (448 - ca. 380 B.C.E.), Greek playwright. (From “The Birds” written in 413 B.C.E. and spoken by the Leaders of the Chorus and Second Semi-Chorus)
Among the alluring and varied resident as well as migratory avian species that grace Andros Island and its islets, there are four species in particular which the Andros Island EU LIFE+ Nature project aims to benefit:
- Eleonora’s Falcon (Falco eleonorae);
- Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata);
- Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii); and
- Mediterranean Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii).
The conservation protection of these and other avian species in Europe is based on the European Union (EU) Birds Directive (Council Directive 2009/147/EC on the Conservation of Wild Birds) which is one of the cornerstones of EU natural resource and wildlife protection. The Birds Directive enacted in 1979 requires all EU Member States to protect and conserve European species of wild birds naturally occurring in the European territory, with special attention to those European species that are migratory, endangered, vulnerable, rare, and/or endemic. The four species targeted by the EU Andros LIFE+ Nature project are classified by the European Commission as “priority” species, which are those listed by the ORNIS Committee (created under the Birds Directive) and include all globally threatened species that regularly occur in the European Union.
To ensure the protection of European wildlife, natural habitats and biodiversity, LIFE+ Nature is one of the EU’s financial instruments supporting nature conservation projects throughout the EU and in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. The Andros LIFE+ Nature project is 75% funded by the European Commission to benefit the conservation status of the four specially selected priority bird species in the project area of Andros Island.
Contact: Constantine Alexander
copyright © 2012 Constantine Alexander