LIFE Andros Park - Conservation of priority species and habitats of Andros Island protected area integrating socioeconomic considerations

LIFE16 NAT/GR/000606

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Contact details:

Contact person: Georgios Zervakis
Tel: 302105294341
Fax: 302105294873
Email: zervakis@aua.gr

Project description:


Andros is the northernmost island of the Cyclades (Greece). Its mountains cause high local precipitation, while the lowlands have very dry summers typical of the Cyclades. These diverse climatic conditions, combined with non-limestone substrates and small rivers crossing the mountain valley, result in a great diversity of habitats, including alluvial forests - a priority habitat for conservation in the Habitats Directive. The marine area around Andros is one of Greece’s most important areas for seabirds and marine mammals. The coastline has numerous partially or totally submerged marine caves - another priority habitat - which are important for Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus), a priority species in Annex II of the Habitats Directive. The rocky coasts and 16 adjacent uninhabited islets are important nesting and roosting areas for Mediterranean shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii), Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii) and Eleonora’s Falcon (Falco eleonorae): all in Annex I of the Birds Directive. The main terrestrial threats to these species include road construction, garbage disposal, wetland degradation, overgrazing, heavy flooding, soil erosion, the abandonment of traditional farming practices and electricity generation infrastructure. The main marine threats include overfishing, illegal and unsustainable fishing, marine debris and abandoned fishing gear (‘ghost fishing’).


The overall objective of LIFE Andros Park is to implement conservation and restoration actions to significantly restore and improve the conservation status of the Habitats Directive Annex I priority terrestrial habitat, alluvial forests (91E0*), as well as the priority marine species, Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus ), and the priority coastal seabirds, Mediterranean shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii ) and Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii ). The ultimate aim is to establish a holistic management scheme for the Andros Natura 2000 network sites and their protection zones, as adopted by the relevant ministerial decree for Andros Island Park. The main specific project objectives include: protection of alluvial forests habitat from the threats of overgrazing, soil erosion, river flooding and wild fires; and introduction of an effective management system to protect priority marine species from harmful marine debris. The project intends to involve local stakeholders and volunteers actively in the planning and the implementation of project interventions.

Expected results:

  • Improved conservation status of 100% (29 ha) of the alluvial forests habitat (91E0*) in the Andros Natura 2000 SAC site and 100% of the local Mediterranean monk seal, Mediterranean shag and Audouin’s gull populations;
  • Updated baseline information for the target priority habitat and species and their associated conservation problems/threats;
  • Technical plans to address erosion, flooding, fire and grazing problems, and to remove marine plastic debris and derelict fishing gear;
  • Protection of selected sites within the alluvial forests habitat through measures to mitigate against erosion and flooding (e.g. restoration of 6 km of stone walls along streams), fires (10 water tanks and repair of 5 km of stone walls) and grazing (1.8 km of fencing), as well as targeted interventions to eradicate invasive giant reed;
  • Restoration of about 11 ha of destroyed/deteriorated alluvial forest habitat and creation of an 800 m2 plant nursery;
  • Removal of marine plastic debris and derelict fishing gear from at least 6 marine caves, 20 km2 of offshore marine areas, 10 km of coastline, and 10 islets that are vital for marine priority species;
  • Implementation of fishing spatial planning for effective mitigation of local fishermen’s reactions against protection measures for Mediterranean monk seal (involving at least 50% of local professional fisheries);
  • An Andros brand for value-added fisheries products established and to boost promotion of fishing tourism;
  • Reduction of seal and seabird mortality due to marine debris and negative interactions with fisheries, by 50% and 40% respectively;
  • Germplasm collection and a seed bank created for essential plant and alder-associated macrofungi species for an effective ex-situ conservation of plant species; and
  • A botanical garden created for the preservation of a living plant collection from the targeted habitat and for promoting ex-situ conservation and various educational and public awareness activities.



Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds
Species - Mammals
Habitats - Forests


fire protection‚  grazing‚  tourism‚  coastal area‚  nature conservation‚  marine environment‚  management plan‚  restoration measure‚  flood protection‚  erosion control

Target EU Legislation

  • Water
  • Directive 2007/60 - Assessment and management of flood risks (23.10.2007)
  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive ...
  • Regulation 1143/2014 - Prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien ...
  • Land & Soil
  • COM(2006)231 - “Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection” (22.09.2006)

Target species

 Larus audouinii   Monachus monachus   Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii 

Target Habitat types

  • 91E0 - "Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)"

Natura 2000 sites




Type of organisation University
Description The Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) is the third oldest university in Greece and has contributed significantly to the scientific and technological self-sufficiency of the country in the fields of agriculture and sustainable food production.
Partners Kaireios Library, Greece Hellenic Agricultural Organization - Demeter, Greece MOm/ Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal, Greece Nature Conservation Consultants Ltd, Greece Fundación CBD para la Conservación de la Biodiversidad y su Habitat, Spain Municipality of Andros, Greece


Project reference LIFE16 NAT/GR/000606
Duration 01-SEP-2017 to 30-SEP -2021
Total budget 2,345,329.00 €
EU contribution 1,754,918.00 €
Project location Madrid(España) Attiki(Ellas) Notio Aigaio(Ellas)


Read more:

Newsletter "LIFE Andros newsletter: #3 - July 2016: The full ...
Newsletter "LIFE Andros newsletter: #1 - October 2015: LIFE p ...
Newsletter "LIFE Andros newsletter: #2 - February 2016: LIFE ...
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page


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