GR4320017 - NISOS KOUFONISI, GYRO NISIDES KAI NISIDES KAVALLOI
Photos of the site
The presence of an Eleonora's Falcon colony indicates the significance of this site for birds. Cory's Shearwaters also nest, however their numbers are not known precisely, so we can't tell whether their populations are also significant in a national or European level. Furthermore, it is an important stop-over site for many migrants during the migration period. It is also very important for wintering Shags. This area is also important for the Mediterranean Monk Seal, as well as for several endemic plant species.
The site includes the island Koufonisi and the small islets on its north (Strongyli, Makrouli and Marmaros) and on its south (Trachilos). Koufonisi is a small island, one of the southernmost european islands, together with Chrysi and Gavdos. Being at the south-easternmost part of Crete it has a dry and hot climate. This fact is evident in the persisting North African desert-like floristic element and in the steppe vegetation observed with the typical presence of the perennial esparto grass, Lygeum spartum, as well as of Erodium crassifolium. This vegetation type is on gypsum substrate. There are both sandy and rocky beaches. The marine part of the site is very representative and well conserved and comprises sea caves, reefs, and Posidonia beds.There are no permanent inhabitants on the island. In summer, vacationers visit the island, but tourism activities are not intense.
-Bourdakis S. & Vareltzidou, S. 2000. Greece pp 261-333. In Heath, M. F. and Evans, M. I., eds. 2000. Important Bird Areas in Europe: Priority sites for conservation. 2: Southern Europe. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 8, p. 791.
- Dimalexis A., S. Xirouchakis, D. Portolou, P. Latsoudis, G. Karris, J. Fric, P. Georgiakakis, C. Barboutis, S. Bourdakis, M. Ivovic, T. Kominos, E. Kakalis, 2007. The status of Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae) in Greece. Journal of Ornithology, 149:1, pp 23-30.
Reference: Natura 2000 data form, database release 7 Feb 2014