Andros is the northernmost island in the Cyclades. Due to its location close to the island of Evia, it consists a link between the Cyclades and the Western Aegean islands, which is reflected in its geographic and biotic characteristics. Its terrestrial and marine environment exhibits great diversity of habitats, which host rare and endangered species, the most important among which are the Eleonora’s Falcon (Falco eleonorae), Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata), Mediterranean Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii) and Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii), Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) and alluvial forest of Black alder (Alnus glutinosa).
The current project is a continuation of a successful LIFE+ project “Management of the SPA site of Andros Island to achieve a Favourable Conservation Status for its priority species (ANDROSSPA)” (http://www.androslife.gr) that was implemented in the Andros Special Protection Area (SPA) between 2011 and 2017. Its main achievements were the establishment and operation of Andros SPA Management Scheme, based on the relevant SPA Management Plan and Feasibility Study and a series of interventions and restoration actions which improved the quality and availability of breeding, roosting and foraging habitats of the Eleonora’s Falcon, Bonelli’s Eagle, Mediterranean Shag and Audouin’s Gull and the improvement of their conservation status on Andros.
The overall project objective is to implement priority conservation and restoration actions to significantly restore and improve the conservation status of the Annex I 92/43/EEC priority terrestrial habitat alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (91E0*), as well as the priority marine species Mediterranean Monk Seal, Mediterranean Shag and Audouin’s Gull within the Natura 2000 sites of Andros island (“ANDROS: KENTRIKO KAI NOTIO TMIMA, GYRO NISIDES KAI PARAKTIA THALASSIA ZONI” – GR4220001 and “ANDROS: ORMOS VITALI KAI KENTRIKOS OREINOS OGKOS” – GR4220028). This objective will be achieved by implementation of a series of conservation measures at sea and on land by active involvement of local stakeholder and volunteers in planning and implementation of the project interventions:
- Effective management of marine plastic debris and derelict fishing gear to mitigate entanglement, ingestion of and ghost-fishing by priority marine species
- Implement measures to reduce friction between fishermen and protection of the Mediterranean Monk Seal
- Establishment of Andros Brand trademark
- Protection of alluvial alder forests from overgrazing, soil erosion, river flooding and wild fires and restoration its part that were destroyed in the past
- Ex-situ conservation of important plant and associated fungal components of target terrestrial habitat
- Creation of a Botanical Garden to promote ex-situ conservation and pertinent educational and public awareness activities