Northern Sporades conservation zone – various aspects

Published by: Thomas Schultze-Westrum

For the main islands and conservation objectives a total of 20 articles has been published so far. Now some additional locations are presented: Pappo├╣ and Gr├ímsa islands; Psatho├║ra and Mikro Psatho├║ra; the two Ad├ęlphia islands.

The small islands Pappo├╣, Strong├Żli and Gr├ímsa are located between Kyra Panagi├á and Gio├║ra. All three are infested by feral rabbits. Only after their complete extermination the plant communities, or rather the remains of it, can recover.

Fishermen talked about the existence of a small ruined church on the central elevation of Grámsa.

The church on Pappo├╣ has been described by Dr. Alexis Alexiou in his well illustrated publication of 2007, Alonnisos: The architecture of the post – byzantine monuments. Relics of simple monk cells (kellia), a threashing plattform and a cistern suggest the former authark subsistence of a monastic community on this very confined island. The sea level underwent marked changes, though, also within the range of human habitation in this region (cf. the article Gioura – civilization over 10.000 years). Consequently, the size of this flat isle was subject to considerable changes as well.

In the framework of conservation and compatible development activities relating to the marine conservation area Northern Sporades, I propose a re-construction of the material culture on Pappo├╣, as a research┬á and touristic demonstration programme of exemplary significance┬á ÔÇô a sunken Garden of Eden.

Psatho├║ra and Mikr├▓ Psatho├║ra, are both of volcanic origin. The very hard lava rock was used for making mill-stones (also for export to places outside the Northern Sporades, eg. to Th├íssos Island in antique times) and building houses. There are rumors of a „sunken city“ offshore, but without scientific evidence so far. The light house on Psatho├║ra was erected in 1895 – it is one of the tallest (28,90 m) in the Mediterranean realm, an impressive monument that could also attract tourists (guided tours).

During the migrating season, large number of birds rest at the shallow lakes that build up in depressions of the non-permeable underground.

The two Ad├ęlphia islands just opposite Alonnisos are owned and leased to goat herders by the community.

Until the end of last century the browsing effects were moderate; conspicuous erosion and damage to the wild olive trees only occurred recently. The communal authority and the marine park management should collaborate to take off the destructive browsing and give the islands ecosytems the means to recover.

On both these small islands a dwarf variety of poisonous vipers (Vipera ammodytes) was discovered by us in 1957. One specimen bit me without any serious health complications.These vipers feed mainly on grasshoppers during the dry summer season.

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This entry was posted on August 21, 2010 at 16:22 and is filed under Northern Sporades.

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