Some areas are characterized as Wildlife Refuges which aim to protect and conserve the natural environment and to preserve, develop and utilize the country’s game.
More specifically, under Law 3937/2011 on the preservation of biodiversity, Wildlife Refuges are natural regions (terrestrial, wetlands or marine), with particular significance as important places for the development of wild flora or as biotopes for the reproduction, feeding and overwintering of wild fauna species, or as regions for the reproduction of fish or the concentration of juveniles, or, finally, as important marine habitats. The ecological routes between other categories of protected areas can also be characterized as Wildlife Refuges.
Activities within the Wildlife Refuges
Inside wildlife refuges it is forbidden to hunt, conduct games demonstrating the chasing abilities of pointing breeds, collect wild fauna, collect wild flora, destroy zones with natural vegetation by any means, destroy hedgerow, remove sand, drain, fill or desiccate marshes, pollute water systems, dispose of or discard waste, conduct military exercises, engage in fish culture activity, as well as integrate the refuge into urban or road planning.
It is permitted to install observatories for wild fauna. The carrying out of quarrying and metallurgical activities, as well as the creation of roads is allowed, subject to the issuing of an environmental permit.
Four Wildlife Refuges exist in the region which fall under the responsibility of the national park of the Delta of Axios:
- Axios Delta GG 275/Β/09-05-1988 (surface of about 5,785 hectares)
- Aliakmon Delta GG 378/Β/30-06-1981 (surface of about 3,540 hectares)
- Stergios-Aliakmon GG 679/Β/08-08-1997 (surface of about 3,881 hectares)
- Alykes Kitrous GG 177/Β/31-03-1988 as amended by the GG 336/IV/24-07-2014 (surface of about 1,482 hectares)