The Evros Delta

304 species of birds, 46 species of fish, 7 species of amphibians, 21 species of reptiles and more than 40 mammals species. More than 350 species of plants on its banks. That is how the Evros Delta is represented in numbers and in this case, the numbers tell the truth; The Evros Delta is one of the most important reserved areas in Greece while it hosts a wide range of species of our natural environment. It has been recognized as an international wetland since 1971 and is a reserved area and a protected shelter for rare species.

The Evros Delta covers an area of ​​approximately 200,000 sq. m. on the south part of the prefecture of Evros. In Turkey, the Delta is called “Gkiaour Anta”, which means “the island of the faithless,” while it is also known by the name “Aenisio Delta” from the ancient city Aenus that was nearby.

The Evros River has its origin in the Rila Mountain in Bulgaria and crosses 515 km  its estuaries in the Thracian Sea. On the way, it carries big amount of materials, approximately 170,000 tons per year as it is estimated. These materials constitute the main reason why the Evros Delta is composed of many and different junctions, because they hamper the rushing water to flow into the sea and they “forced” them to find other avenues. The parts of the river, where in between lakes, lagoons and islets are created, have lush vegetation and therefore they substantially regulate the area’s microclimate, based on the huge quantities of carbon dioxide released by them.

The importance of the Evros Delta

The most important contribution of the Evros Delta to the ecosystem concerns the migration and wintering of thousands of bird species found here. Birds that come during winter season from Northern Europe and Russia or others that stop here during their way from Africa to Europe and vice versa.

The fauna in the Evros Delta

Flamingos, circles and thousands of ducks are observed today in the Evros Delta. Great white pelicans, glossy ibis, spoonbills, Dalmatian pelicans, nanoglaros (Hydrocoloeus minutus) and the extremely rare curlew use the wetland as a stop to rest from their long journey of migration to warmer climates.
The excellent climate of the Evros Delta creates suitable conditions for the breeding of these species: in Evros river 77 species in total are reproduced, including 3 species of heron, extremely rare bird. There, more than 145 species of birds spending their winter here, which are fed with:

  • crustaceans
  •  mollusks
  • worms
  • salamanders
  • frogs
  •  millions of mosquitoes

In addition, the aforementioned become the food for the mammal species living in the Evros Delta:

  • otters
  • wildcats
  • ferrets
  • weasel
  • badgers
  • hedgehogs
  • European ground squirrel
  • squirrels
  • bats

Subsequently, small mammals nourish bigger animals and especially birds of prey; most of the pairs of black vultures that live in the Dadia Forest come to the Delta daily to ensure easy prey.

The human intervention

Irrigation projects that have been carried out from times to times to the river have changed the character of the area. The value of the river concerning agriculture, fisheries and livestock is immeasurable. In the northern and central part of the Evros Delta there are areas that have been drained and cultivated systematically, by means of drains, such as Sarantametros and Decametros.

Visitors who wish to experience and visit the Evros Delta can be updated and supplied with the necessary equipment before their ride across the river by the Information Center for Evros Delta located in Traianoupolis and the Tourism Center of Feres.

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