Wetland is an area of land saturated withwater either permanently or seasonally.It is characterised as having a water tablethat stands near or at the land surface for along enough period to support aquatic life.The Ramsar International WetlandConservation Treaty, an internationalagreement signed by 160 countries, hasdefined in clear terms what consists awetland.The 2nd of February is World Wetlands day.
In Greece there aremore than 400wetland areas.There are 11 largerwetlands that areconsideredprotected areasaccording to theRamsar Convention.
As Samos is unique in terms ofenvironmental characteristics, thisproject will focus on the wetlands ofthe island.
The wetland inAlyki is in theeastern part ofSamos and verynear the coastof Asia Minor.The region hasbeen recognizedas biotope andis included inNATURA 2000
Nearby Alyki, isthe largest by farwetland ofMesokampos,also known asValkamia, just 4.5km east-northeastof Pythagorion. Itcovers 1400 acresand occupies theeastern part ofMesokampos,approximatelyhalf its surface.The 800 acresconstitutea permanentmarsh.
In the Pythagoreio Municipality region lays the Glyfades wetland, which comprises of the Small Glyfada, the Big Glyfada and the Chora marsh.Small Glyfada has water all year long andcommunicates with Big Glyfada with continuous flow.Its formation is due to the existence of many smallsprings that supply it with brackish water.
Samos hides a lotof surprises andone of them isthe waterfalls in Potami,Karlovassi.
The flora and fauna that isfound within the freshwater systemsand their surrounding areas in Samos isdiverse and ecologically important.
Each year, in the winter time the waterin the wetland lakes raises and a lot ofbirds, flamingo, widgeons, swans andherons gather there. In the summertimethe water disappears, the lake dries outand the birds leave it. Totally have beenrecorded 127 species of birds in thebiotope.
One of the most importantspecies is the flamingo. TheFlamingos normally arrive atAlyki Wetland (the salt lake byMykali) in the beginning ofNovember and stay untilFebruary/March.
The flamingos used to breed in thewetlands of Samos but unfortunatelyscientists have found that they nolonger manage to lay eggs here andwhen they do the hatchlings do notsurvive. This is due to humanintervention of various forms that haslimited the overall area of the wetlands.
Egretta garzetta – Little EgreThey can be found in freshwater, brackish,or saline wetlands. Egretta garzetta has apreference for shallow wetlands in opensites where fish are close to the surface
Mammals of the biotope are hedgehogs,hares, black mice, jackals, while theamphibians and the reptiles are representedby frogs, river turtles, Greek turtles,chameleons, water snakes, lizards etc.
Human activities have taken their tollaround the wetland areas, so it is our dutyto actively protect this unique naturalheritage of ours and not allow the wetlandsto be destroyed.