The Terrestrial Team of Archipelagos is monitoring the avifauna in Aliki Psili Ammos Natura 2000 wetland. This area is an important habitat for many bird species, including migratory birds heading towards Asia. Many species use the shallow coastal salt lagoon as a breeding site, which is why the habitat is worth protecting. In recent years there have been increasing human impacts and threats in the area, such as bird hunting, illegal joyriding with quad bikes in the wetland during the dry season throughout the summer months and many more.

During the summer the wetland dries up but the monitoring continues as many birds are resident to the area and for many others it has become a site of migration or a stopover point in their journey.

Archipelagos is taking strong action to prevent damage to the area through many conservation projects carried out in close cooperation with the North Aegean District. Archipelagos is always trying to promote efforts in protecting the area. For example one of the strategies used is to inform the local community and visitors about the importance of the bird habitat on Samos island.

There are already many iconic and beautiful bird species in Samos that are at risk of disappearing from the island if not protected. Samos is an important site for migratory birds and we cannot allow the decline of a vital species such as the Greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) or the Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus). Weekly, the Archipelagos Terrestrial Team monitor the bird species at Psili Ammos wetland. They embark on many surveys in order to compare results with past data from the Greek Island Wetland Database, which will indicate population change pattern over time. In this way it is possible to see which species have sadly been lost and how to promote conservation plans for any other bird species present.

Jaap Evers, Third year Ecology & Wildlife, MBO Helicon Geldermalsen, The Netherlands