GR4340022 - LIMNI KOURNA KAI EKVOLI ALMYROU
Photos of the site
This is an impportant site for breeding, migrant and wintering waterbirds. Species of concern include Egretta garzetta and Aythya nyroca. The lake of Kournas is the only natural freshwater lake in Crete. The whole freshwater system, including the lake, the marshes and Almyros stream and estuary in Georgioupolis, is one of the most important in the east Mediterranean region.
The site includes the Almyros estuary, the area of Georgioupolis and the Kournas lake.The hydrological system supplies and maintains a great peripheral area of humid land, which, especially around Almyros estuary, is mixed either with cultivations or with land which used to be cultivated in the past. At the estuary there are Phragmites australis reed beds (a habitat type not included in Annex I, with Corine 91 code 53.1).Another feature of the site is the big number of underground cold springs which continuously supply with water Kournas lake and the freshwater habitats around Georgioupolis village, in particular: the last part of Almyros stream (close to the estuary), the delta of the stream and the estuary (the upper part of the channel of Almyros stream is dry during the summer months). At the lake-shore the vegetation is characterized by Vitex-agnus castus, Ulmus minor ssp. canescens and other hygrophilous species formations.
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.
Reference: Natura 2000 data form, database release 7 Feb 2014