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Presentation National Park

The National Park is located on the southwestern tip of mainland Greece, where the Gulf of Patras meets the Ionian Sea and the flow Evinos and Acheloos rivers.

It constitutes one of the richest wetlands in Europe, both in number of species, and population.

In this area fall lagoon, land and inland areas of the southern part of the prefecture of Etoloakarnania and the island cluster of Echinades the Prefecture of Kefalonia distinguished for its great biological, ecological, aesthetic, scientific, geomorphological and environmental value.

The park includes:

The sprawling complex Messolonghi- Etoliko lagoon wetlands  and estuaries of rivers Evinos and Acheloos.

The cluster is divided river and riverside areas, lagoons, glykovaltoi, salt marshes, mudflats, very wet forest.

Leading role in shaping the biotope the Evinos and Acheloos rivers are have played and natural boundaries to the east and west respectively.

The Messolonghi  – Etoliko lagoon is the largest in our country and the largest in the Mediterranean.

Today under the geomorphology of the area as a result of anthropogenic interventions in the period 1960-1995 consists of a six lagoons system is relatively isolated from each other and have different physicochemical characteristics. Their scope reaches 150,000 acres. while the area of wetland ecosystems include coastal, marshes, alykopoiimenes land and drained areas were attributed to agriculture.

So, it has formed a lagoon complex in which six sections are distinguished:

1) Lagoon Northern Bus Kleisova
2) Lagoon Kleisova
3) Central lagoon (where the front there are farms: Tourlida, Vasiladi, Schinias and Prokopanistos)
4) Lagoon blurred
5) Lagoon Paleopotamos
6) Etoliko Lagoon (Etoliko Channel)

The land part comprising:

  • Hills distinguished scattered in the wetland and the most in the past were part of Echinades islands the alluvial action of the Acheloos incorporated ashore.
  • The term Varasova (game reserve) and part of Mt Arakinthos.
  • Dunes created by the debris of rivers and lagoons delimit the open sea.
  • The gorge Kleisoura that has been included in the areas “special beauty”.
  • The Forest Ash, designated as “Natural Monument”.
  • Cropland.
  • The island group of Echinades, which is inextricably tied to the estuary of Acheloos.


Α/Α Place Name Category Code Area (Ha)
1 Acheloos River Delta, Messolonghi - Aitoliko Lagoon, Evinos River Estuaries, Echinades Islands, Isle Petalas SCI GR2310001 35.588
2 Mount Varasova SCI GR2310005 1.446
3 Lake Lisimachia SPA GR2310013 2.275
4 Acheloos Delta, Messolonghi - Aitoliko Lagoon, Evinos River Estuaries, Echinades Islands , Isle Petalas, West. Arakinthos , Kleisouras Straits SPA GR2310015 44.184
Habitat Categories Natura 2000 Code Name of the Habitat Type Characteristic Species
COASTAL AND HALOPHYTIC HABITATS Open sea and tidal areas 1110 Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time Cymodocea nodosa Zostera marina
COASTAL AND HALOPHYTIC HABITATS Open sea and tidal areas 1120 Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time Posidonia beds (Posidonion oceanicae) Posidonion oceanicae
COASTAL AND HALOPHYTIC HABITATS Open sea and tidal areas 1130 Estuaries Bolboschoenus maritimus
COASTAL AND HALOPHYTIC HABITATS Open sea and tidal areas 1140 Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide Caulerpa prolifera Zostera noltii Cymodocea nodosa
COASTAL AND HALOPHYTIC HABITATS Open sea and tidal areas 1150 Coastal lagoons Ruppia maritima Enteromorpha spp Caulerpa prolifera
COASTAL AND HALOPHYTIC HABITATS Sea cliffs and shingle or stony beaches 1210 Annual vegetation of drift lines Eryngium maritimum Euphorbia paralias Anthemis tomentosa Salsola kali Otanthus maritimus
COASTAL AND HALOPHYTIC HABITATS Sea cliffs and shingle or stony beaches 1240 Vegetated sea cliffs of the Mediterraneancoasts with endemic Limonium spp. Limonium narbonense Limonium virgatum Lotus cytisoides Crithmum maritimum Silene sedoides
COASTAL AND HALOPHYTIC HABITATS Sea cliffs and shingle or stony beaches 1310 Salicornia and other annuals colonising mud and sand Salicorna europaea Arthrocnemum macrostachyum Halocnemum strobilaceum
COASTAL AND HALOPHYTIC HABITATS Sea cliffs and shingle or stony beaches 1410 Mediterranean salt meadows (Juncetalia maritimi) Juncetalia maritimi Juncus acutus Arthrocnemum macrostachyum Aster tripolium Tamarix hampeana
COASTAL AND HALOPHYTIC HABITATS Sea cliffs and shingle or stony beaches 1420 Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic halophilous scrubs (Sarcocornetea fruticosi) Aeluropus littoralis Arthrocnemum macrostachyum Sacrocornia fruticosa Salicornia europaea Puccinellia festuciformis
COASTAL SAND DUNES AND INLAND DUNES Sea dunes of the Atlantic, North Sea and Baltic coasts 2110 Embryonic shifting dunes Anthemis tomentosa Eryngium maritimum Euphorbia paralias Xanthium strumarium Medicago marina Pancratium maritimum
COASTAL SAND DUNES AND INLAND DUNES Sea dunes of the Mediterranean coast 2250 Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp. Juniperus Phoenica J. macrocarpa Myrtus communis Pistacia lentiscus Lagurus ovatus Prasium majus Anthyllis hermanniae
SCLEROPHYLLOUS SCRUB (MATORRAL) Mediterranean arborescent matorral 5210 Arborescent matorral with Juniperus spp. Juniperus phoenicea Crucianella latifolia Brachypodium retusum Urginea maritima Olea europaea Trifolium campestre Smilax aspera
SCLEROPHYLLOUS SCRUB (MATORRAL) Thermo-Mediterranean and pre-steppe brush 5330 Thermo-Mediterranean and pre-desert scrub Sarcopoterium spinosum Euphorbia dendroides Phlomis fruticosa Pistacia lentiscus Salvia fruticosa
SCLEROPHYLLOUS SCRUB (MATORRAL) Thermo-Mediterranean and pre-steppe brush 5340 East Mediterranean Garrigues Pistacia lentiscus Salvia fruticosa Arbutus unedo Quercus coccifera Phillyrea latifolia Calicotome villosa Euphorbia acanthothamnos Paliurus spina christi Asparagus acutifolius Erica manipuliflora
SCLEROPHYLLOUS SCRUB (MATORRAL) Thermo-Mediterranean and pre-steppe brush 5350 Pseudo maquis Quercus coccifera Phillyrea latifolia Pistacia terebinthus Juniperus oxycedrus Pyrus spinosa Cistus creticus Clematis flammula Brachypodium sylvaticum
SCLEROPHYLLOUS SCRUB (MATORRAL) Phrygana 5420 Sarcopoterium spinosum phryganas Cistus creticus Cistus creticus Phlomis fruticosa Brachypodium retusum Cistus salviifolius Pistacia lentiscus Urginea maritima Sarcopoterium spinosum
ROCKY HABITATS AND CAVES Rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation 72Α0 Reed beds Phragmites australis Typha latifolia Calystegia sepium Lycopus europaeus Rumex conglomeratus Juncus acutus Bolboschoenus maritimus
ROCKY HABITATS AND CAVES Rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation 8210 Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation Centaurea alba ssp. heldreichii Ptilostemon chamaepeuce Centranthus ruber Inula verbascifolia Sedum album Asperula chlorantha
Mediterranean deciduous forests 91F0 Riparian mixed forests of Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis and Ulmus minor, Fraxinus excelsior or Fraxinus angustifolia, along the great rivers (Ulmenion minoris) Fraxinus angustifolia Brachypodium sylvaticum Ulmus minor Tamus communis Rubus ulmifolius Clematis vitalba Lycopus europaeus
Mediterranean deciduous forests 92Α0 Salix alba and Populus alba galleries Salix alba Populus alba Ulmus minor Rubus ulmifolius Carex pendula Mentha pulegium Tamus communis Vitis vinifera Arum italicum
Μεσογειακά δάση φυλλοβόλων 92D0 Southern riparian galleries and thickets (NerioTamaricetea and Securinegion tinctoriae) Tamarix hampeana Nerium oleander Juncus maritimus Rumex conglomeratus Phragmites australis Polypogon monspeliensis Elymus elongatus Vitex agnus-castus
Mediterranean sclerophyllous forests 9320 Olea and Ceratonia forests Olea europaea Ceratonia siliqua Quercus coccifera Arbutus unedo Brachypodium retusum Asparagus acutifolius Calicotome villosa Pistacia lentiscus Phillyrea latifolia Smilax aspera
Mediterranean sclerophyllous forests 9340 Quercus ilex and Quercus rotundifolia forests Quercus ilex Quercus rotundifolia Pistacia terebinthus Arbutus andrachne Arbutus unedo Carpinus orientalis Juniperus oxycedrus Pteridium aquilinum Stipa bromoides
Mediterranean sclerophyllous forests 9350 Quercus macrolepis forests Quercus ithaburensis ssp. macrolepis Olea europaea Asparagus acutifolius Allium subhirsutum
Mediterranean and Macaronesian mountainous coniferous forests 9540 Mediterranean pine forests with endemic Mesogean pines Pinus halepensis Phillyrea latifolia Pistacia lentiscus Cistus salviifolius Rhamnus alaternus Juniperus phoenicea

Show Body

The Management Body of Messolonghi Lagoon is a private legal entity which was established in 2003 under a framework governed by the laws of 3044 (Government Gazette A ‘197/27-08-2002) 1650/1986 on “the protection of environment” and 2742 (G.G.207A/07-10-99), while is created by the Decision of the Minister 126432/2460 (G.G.918B/04-07-03) which has been amended by the Decision of the Minister No. 20700 (G.G.659 B/25-05-06).


All Body’s rules are specifically approved: regulation function of the Board, staff operating regulation, economic regulation function, regulation for implementing works, for awarding, monitoring and collection of studies and services, the supply and receipt of goods, materials and products and for the conclusion and implementation of the relevant conventions of the Body.
The Body is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors whose composition is determined by a decision of the Minister EE.CH. (G.G.216/11-07-2011  & modified G.G.497/14-08-2014).
In Board are represented:

  1. the Greek government which is committed to international conventions for the protection management and promotion of the area
  2. the local community through the LUMC (Local Union of Municipalities and Communities) and Prefectural Government
  3. the scientific community with two scientists
  4. the NGO (non-governmental organizations)
  5. productive entities

President of the Management Body is Mr. Fotis Pergandis, special scientist as he represents the relevant Ministry.
The purpose of the Management Body is the administration and the management of the National Park of Messolonghi – Etoliko lagoon, estuaries and lower reaches of Acheloos – Evinos rivers and Echinades islands.
Along with the protection of ecosystems, the Management Body of Messolonghi lagoon is focused to highlight the environmental values of the area and create the best possible conditions for sustainable development that the local community needs.
Based on the foregoing, the Management Body of Messolonghi Lagoon in the area of responsibility:

  • propose and implement projects to protect and promote the region
  • monitor the quality factors of the environment
  • advise on activities, projects etc.
  • develop information activities – awareness and attracts visitors
  • publishes printed and electronic newsletter – promotional material
  • organizes events, workshops etc.

The Management Body of Messolonghi lagoon during its operation has achieved valuable partnerships with institutional and social agencies at local and regional level. The Information Centre of Wetlands of Messolonghi – Etoliko lagoons is unique and highlights all the ecological values and functions of the protected area.


Aitolikou, Zip30400


Telephone: +30.26320 55094


Email: info@fdlmes.gr



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Accipiter brevipes (Levant Sparrowhawk)
Accipiter nisus (Sparrowhawk)
Acrocephalus arundinaceus (Great Reed Warbler)
Acrocephalus melanopogon (Moustached Warbler)
Acrocephalus schoenobaenus (Sedge Warbler)
Acrocephalus scirpaceus (Reed Warbler)
Actitis hypoleucos (Common Sandpiper)
Aegypius monachus (Black Vulture)
Alauda arvensis (Skylark)
Alcedo atthis (Kingfisher)
Anas acuta (Pintail)
Anas clypeata (Shoveler)
Anas crecca (Teal)
Anas penelope (Wigeon)
Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)
Anas querquedula (Garganey)
Anas strepera (Gadwall)
Anthus campestris (Tawny Pipit)
Anthus cervinus (Red-throated Pipit)
Anthus pratensis (Meadow Pipit)
Anthus spinoletta (Water Pipit)
Anthus trivialis (Tree Pipit)
Apus apus (Swift)
Apus melba (Alpine Swift)
Aquila chrysaetos (Golden Eagle)
Aquila clanga (Spotted Eagle)
Aquila heliaca (Imperial Eagle)
Aquila pomarina (Lesser Spotted Eagle)
Ardea cinerea (Grey Heron)
Ardea purpurea (Purple Heron)
Ardeola ralloides (Squacco Heron)
Arenaria interpres (Turnstone)
Aythya ferina (Pochard)
Aythya fuligula (Tufted Duck)
Aythya nyroca (Ferruginous Duck)
Botaurus stellaris (Bittern)
Bubo bubo (Eagle Owl)
Burhinus oedicnemus (Stone Curlew)
Buteo buteo (Buzzard)
Buteo rufinus (Long-legged Buzzard)
Calandrella brachydactyla (Short-toed Lark)
Calidris alba (Sanderling)
Calidris alpina (Dunlin)
Calidris ferruginea (Curlew Sandpiper)
Calidris minuta (Little Stint)
Calidris temminckii (Temminck's Stint)
Caprimulgus europaeus (Nightjar)
Carduelis spinus (Siskin)
Cercotrichas galactotes (Rufous Bush Robin)
Charadrius alexandrinus (Kentish Plover)
Charadrius dubius (Little Ringed Plover)
Charadrius hiaticula (Ringed Plover)
Chlidonias hybridus (Whiskered Tern)
Chlidonias leucopterus (White-winged Black Tern)
Chlidonias niger (Black Tern)
Circaetus gallicus (Short-toed Eagle)
Circus aeruginosus (Marsh Harrier)
Circus cyaneus (Hen Harrier)
Circus macrourus (Pallid Harrier)
Circus pygargus (Montagu's Harrier)
Coccothraustes coccothraustes (Hawfinch)
Columba palumbus (Woodpigeon)
Coturnix coturnix (Quail)
Cuculus canorus (Cuckoo)
Cygnus olor (Mute Swan)
Delichon urbica (House Martin)
Dendrocopos medius (Middle Spotted Woodpecker)
Egretta alba (Great White Egret)
Egretta garzetta (Little Egret)
Emberiza caesia (Cretzschmar's Bunting)
Emberiza hortulana (Ortolan Bunting)
Emberiza melanocephala (Black-headed Bunting)
Emberiza schoeniclus (Reed Bunting)
Erithacus rubecula (Robin)
Falco biarmicus (Lanner)
Falco cherrug (Saker)
Falco columbarius (Merlin)
Falco naumanni (Lesser Kestrel)
Falco peregrinus (Peregrine)
Falco subbuteo (Hobby)
Falco vespertinus (Red-footed Falcon)
Ficedula albicollis (Collared Flycatcher)
Ficedula hypoleuca (Pied Flycatcher)
Fringilla coelebs (Chaffinch)
Fulica atra (Coot)
Gallinago gallinago (Snipe)
Gallinago media (Great Snipe)
Gelochelidon nilotica (Gull-billed tern) * !! VU (Gull-billed tern)
Glareola pratincola (Collared Pratincole)
Gyps fulvus (Griffon Vulture)
Haematopus ostralegus (Oystercatcher)
Haliaeetus albicilla (White-tailed Eagle)
Hieraaetus fasciatus (Bonelli's Eagle)
Hieraaetus pennatus (Booted Eagle)
Himantopus himantopus (Black-winged Stilt)
Hippolais icterina (Icterine Warbler)
Hippolais pallida (Olivaceous Warbler)
Hirundo daurica (Red-rumped Swallow)
Hirundo rustica (Swallow)
Ixobrychus minutus (Little Bittern)
Jynx torquilla (Wryneck)
Lanius collurio (Red-backed Shrike)
Lanius minor (Lesser Grey Shrike)
Lanius senator (Woodchat Shrike)
Larus genei (Slender-billed Gull)
Larus melanocephalus (Mediterranean Gull)
Larus minutus (Little Gull)
Larus ridibundus (Black-headed Gull)
Limosa limosa (Black-tailed Godwit)
Locustella luscinioides (Savi's Warbler)
Lullula arborea (Woodlark)
Luscinia luscinia (Thrush Nightingale)
Luscinia megarhynchos (Nightingale)
Melanocorypha calandra (Calandra Lark)
Mergus serrator (Red-breasted Merganser)
Merops apiaster (Bee-eater)
Milvus migrans (Black Kite)
Milvus milvus (Red Kite)
Motacilla alba (White Wagtail)
Motacilla cinerea (Grey Wagtail)
Motacilla flava (Yellow Wagtail)
Muscicapa striata (Spotted Flycatcher)
Netta rufina (Red-crested Pochard)
Numenius arquata (Curlew)
Numenius phaeopus (Whimbrel)
Numenius tenuirostris (Slender-billed Curlew)
Nycticorax nycticorax (Night Heron)
Oenanthe hispanica (Black-eared Wheatear)
Oenanthe oenanthe (Wheatear)
Oriolus oriolus (Golden Oriole)
Otus scops (Scops Owl)
Pandion haliaetus (Osprey)
Panurus biarmicus (Bearded Tit)
Pelecanus crispus (Dalmatian Pelican)
Pernis apivorus (Honey Buzzard)
Phalacrocorax carbo (Cormorant)
Phalacrocorax pygmeus (Pygmy Cormorant)
Philomachus pugnax (Ruff)
Phoenicopterus ruber (Greater Flamingo)
Phoenicurus ochruros (Black Redstart)
Phoenicurus phoenicurus (Redstart)
Phylloscopus collybita (Chiffchaff)
Phylloscopus sibilatrix (Wood Warbler)
Phylloscopus trochilus (Willow Warbler)
Platalea leucorodia (Spoonbill)
Plegadis falcinellus (Glossy Ibis)
Pluvialis apricaria (Golden Plover)
Pluvialis squatarola (Grey Plover)
Podiceps cristatus (Great Crested Grebe)
Podiceps nigricollis (Black-necked Grebe)
Porzana porzana (Spotted Crake)
Prunella modularis (Dunnock)
Recurvirostra avosetta (Avocet)
Riparia riparia (Sand Martin)
Saxicola rubetra (Whinchat)
Scolopax rusticola (Woodcock)
Sterna albifrons (Little Tern)
Sterna caspia (Caspian Tern)
Sterna hirundo (Common Tern)
Sterna sandvicensis (Sandwich Tern)
Streptopelia turtur (Turtle Dove)
Sturnus vulgaris (Starling)
Sylvia atricapilla (Blackcap)
Sylvia borin (Garden Warbler)
Sylvia cantillans (Subalpine Warbler)
Sylvia communis (Whitethroat)
Sylvia curruca (Lesser Whitethroat)
Sylvia hortensis (Orphean Warbler)
Tachybaptus ruficollis (Little Grebe)
Tadorna tadorna (Shelduck)
Tringa erythropus (Spotted Redshank)
Tringa glareola (Wood Sandpiper)
Tringa nebularia (Greenshank)
Tringa ochropus (Green Sandpiper)
Tringa stagnatilis (Marsh Sandpiper)
Tringa totanus (Redshank)
Turdus philomelos (Song Thrush)
Upupa epops (Hoopoe)
Vanellus vanellus (Lapwing)