1. National Parks in Greece : Introduction

Team members: Mehmet Eroglu Antonia Giannakidou Emmanouela Niniraki AnnaTegou

Abstract

The main topic of that project is to create an organised guide for everyone who is interested in collecting information about National Parks in Greece. Hosting a great diversity of species and having outstanding natural beauties, Greece has many regions which have been characterized as protected areas. Specifically there are ten regions that have been designated as National Parks (two of them are National Marine Parks). The idea of dealing with this content was emerged from the lack of concentrated data base that could combine different spatial elements. Someone could find, at this guide, data that concern the environmental treaties which the National Parks are under (Natura 2000 e.t.c), their location, their natural habitat types, road network, permitted  human activities, corine land cover, climate elements ( temperature and precipitation) and elevation data (DEMs).

“Due to the great range of climatic and geomorphologic conditions, species and ecosystems diversity is high. Greece entirely lies in the Mediterranean biogeographical region, with ecosystems ranging from semi-desert and maquis, to cold climate mountain forests of birch, scots pine and spruce. Wetlands (rivers, estuaties, deltas, lagoons, shallow lakes, shallow marine formations, and marshes) cover a relatively wide area (210.000 hectares) and forests cover nearly 30% of the country’s territory.

About two-thirds of the Greek territory is covered by a hilly or mountainous terrain, with the typical landscape being rugged and steep. Greece has a very extensive coastline of about 15.000 kilometres and about 3.000 islands, which represent 20% of the land area. The coastline is mainly rocky and sandy with about 5% wetlands

Greek flora and fauna are among the richest in Europe: more than 5.500 plant species have been recorded, with a large number of endemic species, due to the isolation of mountains and islands. Nearly all mammal species recorded are indigenous, as well as 85% of freshwater fish species.

Greece hosts a large variety of Mediterranean habitats included in the reference list of the Natura 2000 initiative (EU Birds Directive 79/409/EEC and Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC): from open sea, tidal areas and sea dunes, to several types of shrubs and grasslands and Mediterranean mountainous forests of coniferous.” (Ministry of Environment & Energy)

Key Words: protected areas, road network, temperature, precipitation, altitude, land use

Introduction

To reach our goal, a research through internet was necessary in order to find suitable format of data (shapefiles), maps and descriptive material for these protected areas. In some cases some new archives of data (as shapefiles) were created, so as the descriptions to be connected with the map. Finally, the product of that connection, namely the chance of taking a visual result for someone’s queries, is the main purpose considering that the former capability makes it easier and more attractive for a user to perceive how to go there and learn some useful information.

There is an interactive map below, in which representative photos of the National parks are shown by clicking on each one.

 

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