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Northern Sporades conservation zone – various aspects

For the main islands and conservation objectives a total of 20 articles has been published so far. Now some additional locations are presented: Pappoù and Grámsa islands; Psathoúra and Mikro Psathoúra; the two Adélphia islands.

The small islands Pappoù, Strongýli and Grámsa are located between Kyra Panagià and Gioúra. 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 Pappoù 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 Pappoù, as a research  and touristic demonstration programme of exemplary significance  – a sunken Garden of Eden.

Psathoúra and Mikrò Psathoúra, 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 Thássos 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 Psathoúra 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 Adélphia 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.

Veröffentlicht am Kategorien Northern SporadesSchlagwörter , ,

Über Thomas Schultze-Westrum

Dr. Thomas Georg Hans SCHULTZE-WESTRUM Author of Scientific and Popular Publications Producer and Director of Documentary Films and Videos Adviser in Nature Conservation and Preservation of Rural Cultures Initiator of Conservation Programmes German national. Born 1937 (Berlin). Classical education at the Benedictine monastery of Ettal in Upper Bavaria. Graduate of Munich University, with degrees in Zoology, Geology and Cultural Anthropology (Ethnology). Scholarship by “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes”. Research (University of Munich, other scientific institutions) and publications on social and population physiology of marsupials and other vertebrate fauna of New Guinea and the Mediterranean Region, cultural anthropology, conservation and resource management on the village level, mainly in Greece and New Guinea. Author of the books “New Guinea” (Berne 1972) and “Biologie des Friedens” (Biology of Peace), Munich 1974. Dr. Schultze-Westrum has joined for several years the Commissions on Ecology and Environmental Planning of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). He is the founder of the working group (IUCN Commission on Ecology) “Conservation and Traditional Life Styles” 1979; the “ECOCULTURE” Movement 1981; the “Gesellschaft für die Erhaltung alter und gefährdeter Haustierrassen” GEH (Society for the Preservation of Old and Endangered Breeds of Domestic Animals) 1981; and the non-profit-making society “KALLIERGIA”, for traditional agriculture and village conservation in Greece, 1993. As a consultant he has worked for the EU, IUCN, OECD and WWF. As a film maker he has produced, directed and mostly also shot, for German television and international TV networks, 75 documentaries, mainly ecological portraits with emphasis upon the integration of local and traditionally living people into conservation projects. His first film (1974) was about alternative (sustainable) utilization of tropical rainforests in New Guinea, for ZDF. Never Dr. Schultze-Westrum has entered any of his films into an award winning competition, because he is more concerned about the effects of his TV work in actual conservation and public awareness. One of these real awards was the creation of the Marine National Park Alonnisos Northern Sporades in Greece as a result of his film “The Coast of the Monk Seals” in 1976/77 for ZDF (ratings 36 % - shown in 11 countries). His programme “Green Desert”, about traditional water management in the Sultanate of Oman was distributed by the Television Trust for the Environment TVE to 44, mainly Third World, countries. Another leading aspect of his film work was the production of environmental films for the people of the country where he was filming. So, he produced the first TV series of films on ecology, rural life styles and conservation for Greece (in the early 80’s, 14 programmes) and for the Sultanate of Oman (late 80’s, 12 films). His deep interest in ancient human traditions inspired him to produce “Omani Seafaring”, for Oman TV; “Im Kielwasser Sindbads” (In the Wake of Sindbad), for the series Terra X of ZDF; and “Insel der Magier” (Island of the Sorcerers: Waigeo) for ARTE TV. After retiring from TV film production at the end of 2002 he is returning to his earlier scientific work (abandoned in the early 70’s) about the social and population physiology of marsupials ( Petaurus breviceps papuanus and closely related species); village based conservation; the evolution of human communal behaviour and cultural diversity; and the evolution of art styles in the Papuan Gulf province of New Guinea. Since 1992 he is also involved in eco- and agrotourism programmes that are based on his earlier promotion of this alternative “soft” tourism through publications and films, in Greece and West Papua. His conservation activities are continuously focussed on Greece and New Guinea, since 1957 and 1959, respectively. Dr. Schultze-Westrum now is writing up his experiences of many years field work and he is keeping communications alive through his homepage, from the ancient village of Kazaviti on the island of Thassos in the northern Aegean Sea. The conservation and re-activation of outstanding traditional values of Kazaviti stand at the centre of a local museum and documentation centre to be set up in one or even two old Macedonian stone houses.