Ios; An ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Area’

Did you know that Ios have been designated as an ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Area‘ 

Within this area there is a wildlife refuge In Ios, protected by law (Government Gazette 600 / Β / 30-4-1976), which covers 37,000 acres. The island of Ios is either a permanent or temporary home for breeding seabirds, raptors and species associated with phrygana, like the Long-Legged Buzzard, European Shag, Yelkouan Shearwater, Eleonora’s Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Bonelli’s Eagle, Audouin’s Gull, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Scopoli’s Shearwater. Whether these birds come to Ios in the winter time to spend the winter, or they are trying to go back to the spring nesting grounds, they need habitat all along the way.

The Past
The construction works at Calilo resort at Avlaki Papa seriously damaged the natural wetland that existed in the area and the stream that was feeding it. For these and other violations in the area, fines of thousands of Euros were imposed on Angelos Michalopoulos, the husband of Vasiliki Petridou, as well as on Sharivan, one of the companies through which Mr Michalopoulos conducts his business in Ios. Unfortunately, as a result, the island of Ios lost another part of its habitat. Demands for restoration of the area have thus far been ignored by the property owner.

The Future?
There is a mega-hotel development, subsidised by taxpayers money, planned by NERO SA, another company controlled by Mr Michalopoulos and Ms Petridou, in the area of Pikri Nero. Elliniki Ornithologiki Etaireia have identified uncontrolled tourism as the main threat to the birds and biodiversity in the area. Birds that visit Ios will eventually reach a tipping point where they no longer are able to continue the migration. This proposed ‘strategic investment’ in the area would seriously endanger the wildlife here.

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