SPA Paramythia mountains, Kalamas and Acherontas gorge
Paramythia mountains, Kalamas and Acherontas gorge (GR2120008)
National Name: Ori Paramuthias, stena Kalama kai stena Acheronta
This is a long mountain range stretching from north to south, located east of the village of Paramuthia and characterized by high steep cliffs to the west. Also, the area includes the gorge formed by river Acherontas at the southern edge of the mountains of Paramythia and the river itself with a relatively narrow zone along both sides of the riverbed, as well as the gorge of river Kalamas.
Landscape and biodiversity
The area of Paramuthia mountains is covered by shrubland, coniferous forests, extensive rocky outcrops, montane grasslands and vertical slopes. The area of Acherontas and Kalamas gorge exhibits an exceptional variety of habitats. Its ecosystems include deciduous forest and shrubland at the sub-mountainous zone, arable cultivations at the lowland area, as well as freshwater wetlands, brackish marshes, cultivations and shrubland. The area of Acherontas gorge is a historic landmark, well-known worldwide, since according to ancient Greeks it constituted the entrance to the Underworld.
An important site for breeding, migrating and wintering waterbirds and raptors, as well as a very important area for birds of prey. Breeding birds include 8 of the 21 species that are restricted in Europe to the Mediterranean. Important bird species that occur in the area: Falco naumanni, Falco peregrinus, Neophron percnopterus, Gyps fulvus, Circaetus gallicus, Aquila chrysaetos, Hieraaetus fasciatus, Falco vespertinus, Circus macrourus.
The main human activities are agriculture and livestock breeding and recreation.
As in most mountainous and sub-mountainous regions in Greece, the habitats in the area are threatened by the abandonment of traditional land uses, mainly extensive livestock breeding. The consequences are the forestation of open land, the homogenisation of natural ecosystems and the reduction of food availability for scavenging species, especially after the closure of landfills and the enforcement of stricter legislation concerning the abandonment of animal carcasses and slaughterhouse remains in the countryside. Other important threats are the illegal use of poisoned baits and illegal hunting. Also, an important threat if the tourist and recreation infrastructures construction (mainly in the area of Acherontas gorge).
• SPA: GR2120008 Ori Paramythias, Stena Kalama kai Stena Acheronta (11,692 ha, 50 %)
• SCI: GR2120004 Stena Kalama (1,820 ha, 11 %)
• WR: Paramythia - Petousi - Ag. Kyriaki (3,322 ha, 10 %), Raveni - Malounio - Pente Ekklisies (2,506 ha, 9 %)
• SPA: GR2120008 Ori Paramythias, stena Kalama kai Stena Acheronta (11,692 ha, 47 %)
• SCI: GR2140001 Ekvoles Acheronta (apo Glossa eos Alonaki) kai stena Acheronta (4,628 ha, 74 %), GR2140003 Paraktia thalassia zoni apo Parga eos akrotirio Agios Thomas (Preveza), Akr. Keladio - Ag. Thomas (1,529 ha, 4.9 %)
• WR: Tourla - Moungila - Vorilla Dimon Lourou kai Fanarion (2,575 ha, 20 %), Ammoudias - Valanidorachis - Loutsas Dimou Fanariou (899 ha, 12 %)