SPA South forest complex Evrou
Notio Dasiko Symplegma Evrou Special Protected Area GR 1110009
This site is located in the south-eastern end of the Rodopi Mountain with few villages that belong to the Alexandroupolis municipality.
Landscape and biodiversity
It is characterized by low hills and sub-mountainous areas covered with deciduous forests with oaks, ashes, hornbeams and scrubland. Natural perennial oak forests had been replaced with pine reforestations 40 years ago. Most of plantations have been burnt in 2009 and 2011 and left in their natural regeneration without new reforestations. A natural forest with mature Black Pines is included in the southern part of the site, next to Delta of Evros which is an important nesting and roosting area for raptors. White-tailed Eagle nests here and together with the nest of Dadia National Park, are the unique two pairs in Evros region. Over 45 Spotted Eagles roost on the Black Pines during their wintering. Many cliffs occur in the site with the most impressive the ones of Avantas gorge. Rare plant species like Eriolobus trilobatus as well as endemic butterfly species have been recorded in this site.
Broadleaved forests and characteristic cliffs (WWF/G. Mercier)
This area is an important ecological corridor for raptors and other mammals between Delta of Evros and Dadia forest. This site includes the last hills of Rodopi Mountain to the Evros River which are an important migratory corridor for raptors and waterfowl. In the east part of this site there is a colony of 13 pairs of Griffon Vultures. Priority species include: White-tailed Eagle, Golden Eagle, Imperial eagle, Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Lesser-spotted Eagle, Spotted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Eagle Owl and Black Stork. One territory of Egyptian Vulture occurred in the area before two years.
Forestry, agriculture, livestock-breeding and mining comprises the main land uses. The forests are exploited for fire wood and industrial wood. Livestock breeding remained in low numbers around the villages. Traditional agriculture of small scale fields creates a farmland of high biodiversity.
Characteristic valley with cliffs (WWF/J. Gracia)
Due to the intensive forest management the deciduous forests are very young with luck of mature trees. The forests are dense especially the scrubland due to the decrease of livestock. The illegal use of poisoned baits has been recorded mainly for foxes. Quarries for road building material extraction have been developed the last decade near the Griffon Vulture colonies. Military activity is particularly intense in this region and a pressure for a future extended field for military exercises is very strong.
This site is included in the networks of the Special Protected Areas and the Important Bird Areas.