The Park

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In addition to Alonissos same four main islands (Pelagos Gioura, Psathoura and piperidine) and 22 uninhabited islets and rocky outcrops make up the National Marine Park, north of the island. You will see (maybe) of Audouin’s gulls, shags, dolphins and monk seals. They have almost disappeared due to pollution, overfishing and other human activities. The creation of the Marine National Park and private associations has halted this process and maintain a small colony that you may have the chance to observe.

Some History

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The need to protect the seal of the Mediterranean was the reason for creating the marine park. The efforts began in 1983 with the signing of the Agreement between the Ministry of the Environment, Infrastructure and the European Union on the implementation of the initial research whose purpose was to estimate the environmental value of the area. The park area is great and contains a natural Mediterranean ecosystem, very harmonious and balanced. The caves of the earth, stalactites, stalagmites, the caves of the sea and submarines have an interest not only aesthetic but also biological. The geological and biological evolution of the Northern Sporades has its origins in prehistoric times, where an existing islands were united with Mount Pelion peninsula.

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The Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) is now endangered and known population is the largest in the Mediterranean. The flora and fauna of the deserted islands are ideal for the food needs of the seal and include the conditions for its reproduction.

The island is PIPERI natural shelter for the seal and that is why the approach within 3 nautical miles is prohibited. The approach is permitted only research groups who have special permission. The deserted islands in SE Alonissos is a haven for wildlife. The island Ghioura is a botanical paradise flowers and rare species. It also has the rare ibex there. On the rocks of the island Skantzoura found a rare species of hawk.

At Gherakas (north side of Alonissos) facilities whose purpose is to house the research activities in the area of the marine park are encountered. The function of the marine park, monitoring the area, in addition to protecting the seal monachus monachus and other rare species, contributes to the creation of an exceptional tourist environment.

Ecosystem

Maritime areas of the park are a haven for many species of fauna and terrestrial and marine endangered flora.

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The islands are covered with forests of Mediterranean conifers like pine, maquis shrubs such as bearberry, dwarf cedars, and a wide variety of species.
The park is an important habitat for many fish species (about 300), birds (over 80 species), reptiles and mammals as well. The monk seal (Monachus monachus), red coral (Coraliu mrubrum), Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae) The ibex (Laru saudouinii), the shag (Phalacrocorax Aristotelis) and Gyaros ibex (Capra aegagrus) are some some of the characteristics of rare species in the area. Among the birds that live in the park there are Bonelli’s eagle (Hieraetus fasciatus), cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), the Herring Gull (Larus cacchinans) or The Swift (Apus apus and Apus melba). The most common dolphin and whale species are short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the sperm whale and beaked whale.