Wednesday, October 18, 2017

  

The varied and distinctive habitats of the Schinias Marathon National Park provide those conditions necessary to support a rich fauna. A large number of animal species including many protected species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish live, reproduce or visit the National Park.

Birds

More than 240 species of birds have been recorded in the Schinias Marathon National Park. Approximately 50 bird species nest at the wetland, the hills of Drakonera and Kynosoura and the pine forest. The ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca), the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the black winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), the little greb (Tachybaptus ruficollis), the moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), the water rail (Rallus aquaticus) and a large number of coot ((Fulica atra) nest at the wetland. At the thick reed beds nest great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus). In the National Park reside and/or breed many passerines such as the yellow (Motacilla flava), grey (Motacilla cinerea) and white/pied (Motacilla alba) wagtails, the great tit (Parus major), the wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), the Sardinian warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), the rock nuthatch (Sitta neumayer), the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) and the greenfinch (Carduelis carduelis). In the area live marsh harriers (Circus aeroginosus) and nest common buzzards (Buteo buteo), kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) and peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus).

Large numbers of water birds overwinter in the wetland, mainly ducks such as teals (Anas crecca), shovelers (Anas clypeata), wigeons (Anas penelope) and pintails (Anas acuta).

Schinias wetland is the largest coastal wetland of Attica and one of the largest in eastern Greece. It is an important stopover during the spring and fall migration when thousands of birds move to their summer and winter grounds respectively. During springtime many wader species rest, refuel and seek shelter in the marshes including the dunlin (Tringa glareola), the red shank (Tringa totanus) and the ruff (Philomachus pugnax) and also the little egret (Egretta garzetta), the grey heron (Ardea cinerea), the great egret (Ardea alba), the little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus), the purple heron (Ardea purpurea) and the night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax).

In total more than 70 bird species of those recorded in the National Park are listed in the Annex I of the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) and are strictly protected.

Reptiles

At the National Park reside two species of tortoises, the marginated (Testudo marginata) and the Hermann’s tortoise (Eurotestudo hermanni) as well as the two freshwater turtle’s species of Greece, Mauremys rivulata- the western Caspian turtle- and Emys orbicularis- the European pond turtle. All four species are strictly protected.

Furthermore 8 species of snakes and 5 species of lizards have been recorded in the area. The European worm snake (Typlops vermicularis), the Dahl’s whip snake (Platyceps najadum), the Balkan whip snake (Hierophis gemonensis), the leopard snake (Zamenis situlus), the Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) and the long-nosed viper (Vipera ammodytes) live on the Park’s land surface while the grass snake (Natrix natrix) and the dice snake (Natrix tessellata) live in the water areas. The Dahl’s whip snake, the leopard snake and the dice snake are listed in the Annex IV of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) as strictly protected while the leopard snake is also included in Annex II of the same Directive.

At the land habitats of the Park live the Balkan green lizard (Lacerta trilineata), the eyed skink (Calcides ocellatus), the kotschy’s gecko (Cyrtopodion kotschyi), the European copper skink (Ablepharus kitaibelli) and the slow warm (Anguis fragilis). All but the slow warm are listed in the Annex IV of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC)

Amphibians

The green toad (Pseudepidalea viridis), the European tree frog (Hyla arborea) and the Balkan water frog (Pelophyla kurtmuelleri) are found in the water areas of the Park. The green toad and the European tree frog are strictly protected by the Greek and the European legislation.

Fish

The endemic marathon minnow (Pelasgus marathonicus) has been recorded in the fresh water habitats of Schinias Marathon National Park. The marathon minnow has a wide but discontinuous distribution in springs, rivers and drainages in the regions of Attica and Magnesia and is listed as endangered in the Red Data Book of Threatened Animals of Greece. European eels (Anguilla anguilla) also occur in the wetland.

Mammals

Nocturnal land mammals and small mammals such as the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), the European badger (Meles meles), the European hare (Lepus europaeus), the mole (Talpa sp.), the southern white-breasted hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor), the stone martin (Martes foina), the wood (Apodemus sylvaticus) and house (Mus musculus) mouse, the bicoloured white-toothed shrew (Crocidura leucodon) and flying mammals (bats) live at the terrestrial areas of the Park.

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