TILOS - Conservation management of an Island SPA

LIFE04 NAT/GR/000101

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Anastasios ALIFERIS
Tel: + 30 22460 44212
Fax: + 30 22460 44320
Email: dimtilos@otenet.gr

Project description:


Tilos, situated between Kos and Rhodes in Greece, is one of the smallest islands of the Dodecanese (63 km2). Despite its relatively small size, the island hosts a large variety of habitats, which include rocky islets, relic woodland, a number of small but abandoned springs, natural and human-made grasslands. These habitats are home to rare and protected bird species, which account for the island’s SPA status.

Tilos is very important for the two raptor species Bonelli’s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) and Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae). The island is also important for the Mediterranean shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii). During the last decades Tilos’ natural environment has changed due to anthropogenic influences such as tourism development, land-use changes and other small infrastructure development. All these have threatened the island’s traditional agricultural landscapes, its biodiversity and consequently its important avifauna.


This LIFE project focussed on implementing SPA management measures for Bonelli’s eagle, Eleonora’s falcon and the Mediterranean shag. The project aimed to set up an effective surveillance programme of the breeding populations of the three target species, in order to improve knowledge about the conservation management requirements. This information would then be used to help increase and maintain the birds’ breeding success.

In addition, work was planned to increase the availability of raptor prey by enhancement and maintenance of invertebrate (insects), bird (partridges), reptile (lizards) and (micro) mammal populations.

An information campaign formed an important part of the project strategy and this included providing visitor facilities to manage visitor pressures. Capacity-building was also integrated within the project, and this was directed at supporting the effectiveness of local, regional and central authorities, particularly in terms of developing sustainable and traditional agricultural systems capable of supporting the target species.


The project achieved its objectives and daily surveillance operations helped to provide information that significantly reduced the threats to the target species. Monitoring confirmed increased estimates on the populations and breeding success of Bonelli's eagle and Eleonora's falcon. Surveillance also provided useful information about the breeding performance and feeding areas of the Mediterranean shag, as well as leading to the identification of some 59 species which had previously been unrecorded in the project area.

The sowing of cereals was considered to be successful in increasing the number of prey species for raptors and other important results included: modifications to two fresh water springs that improved and extended water supplies during the summer, for the benefit of wildlife and especially of the three target bird species; controlling human disturbances to the target species via surveillance and increased public awareness; improved appreciation of the SPA's conservation value by visitors and the local population through widespread information dissemination, particularly via the internet; formulation of new proposals for the future conservation of the target species; and enhanced experience provided to local, regional and central authorities regarding conservation management.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Conservation Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds


island‚  nature conservation‚  island ecosystem‚  monitoring‚  environmental awareness

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target species

 Falco eleonorae   Hieraaetus fasciatus   Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii 

Natura 2000 sites




Coordinator Municipality of Tilos
Type of organisation Local authority
Description The beneficiary is a municipality. The municipality of Tilos supervises the services responsible for the planning and development of primary and secondary sector activities in areas which lie within its administrative bodies.
Partners Tilos Park, Greece Regional Directorate of Forests in South Aegean (Notio Aigaio), Greece OIKOS–Nature Management Ltd, Greece


Project reference LIFE04 NAT/GR/000101
Duration 01-NOV-2004 to 28-FEB -2008
Total budget 824,212.00 €
EU contribution 618,159.00 €
Project location Notio Aigaio(Ellas)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website (GR/EN)
Publication: After-LIFE Conservation Plan After-LIFE Conservation Plan (EN)
Publication: Case study “Tilos: See, Discover, Share” (EN/GR)(4 MB)
Publication: Layman report Layman report (GR/EN)


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version