The Wildlife Refuge (KAZ)

The Wildlife Refuge (KAZ) was founded in 2001 by the decision of the General Secretary of the Region of Thessaly (No. 1460) and covers an area of 10,000 acres, aiming at the protection, management and reproduction of wildlife species.

It extends from spot Kardami and at the junction of the path "Kardami-Xouria" with the existing provincial road "Patitiri - Gerakas" following NW direction, reaching the area of "Melioi". From there it turns westwards following the same path and ends at the sea. Then it follows the coastline to the bay of Gerakas, where it meets the end of the provincial road "Patitiri-Gerakas" and continues along the above road to the initial location Kardami.

By Law 3937/2011 the following activities are prohibited within the boundaries of the Wildlife Refuge:

  •          hunting of any prey and any kind of fauna
  •          the capture of wildlife species for non-research purposes
  •          hunting competitions of marker dogs
  •          the harvesting of wild flora, the destruction of any kind of natural vegetation and of living plants
  •          sanding and the draining, filling or drying of wetlands
  •          pollution of water resources
  •          the disposal or dumping of waste
  •          the development of fish farms
  •          the conduct of military exercises
  •          the inclusion of the wildlife refuge’s area in an urban planning scheme

Wildlife Refuge Map



Hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor)

Protected by Presidential Decree 67/1981 and the KB-IUCN. It lives in sparse forests and where there is low vegetation. It is a solitary, nocturnal and omnivorous animal. It eats insects, worms, slugs, bird eggs, seeds and fruits. Its nest is usually underground. During the day, when it is not in its nest, it hides under piles of leaves.

Beech marten (Martes foina)

Protected by the Berne Convention (as a species of protected fauna) and the Red Book (as an endemic subspecies in Greece). Shrublands on the one hand and rocky parts on the other create desirable habitats for this nocturnal carnivorous species. It nests in tree hollows, in holes and rocks. Its color is brown-gray and its feature is the double white spot on the chest and neck. It has a body length of about 50 cm and a tufted tail 25 cm long.

Marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata)

The marginated tortoise is very different from the other two species of terrestrial turtles: it is larger, elongated and intensely dark, sometimes black. It is characterized by the protruding posterior peripheral plates, which in males are much more intense.

Nose-horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes)

Protected by the Berne Convention. It is the only venomous species of snake in Greece. Its venom is very strong. It lives in sunny, bushy or rocky areas in sparse forests and meadows. It is often found on trees, so it is even more dangerous. It feeds on small rodents, birds, eggs, etc. It has a characteristic apophysis (horn) on the edge of the nose, formed by scales and the dark "zig-zag" line that runs along the back.

European whip snake (Coluber caspius)

It is protected by the Berne Convention and Presidential Decree 67/1981. It is a terrestrial and diurnal snake. It feeds on small rodents, birds, lizards or other smaller snakes. It prefers bushy areas with stone slits, and still can be found in ravines, agricultural fields and meadows. It is very similar to the Balkan whip snake. Its length reaches 1 meter. Its body is covered with smooth scales. Its color is grayish or greenish yellow. It is not poisonous.

Four-lined Snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata)

 It is protected by Directive 92/43 / EEC, the Berne Convention and Presidential Decree 67/1981. It lives in dry bushy and rocky areas, in meadows as well as in residential areas. It is one of the largest European snakes. Its length is usually up tο to 1.5 m, in rare case however, it can reach 2.6 m. Its color is gray or brown. It has two dark characteristic stripes on each side. It is not poisonous.

Leopard Snake (Zamenis situla)

It is protected by Directive 92/43 / EEC, the Berne Convention and Presidential Decree 67/1981. It lives in wet areas, on river banks, as well as in residential areas. Its length can reach 1.20 m. Its color is brownish red. It has reddish spots on the back. It is not poisonous.

Bonelli`s eagle (Aquila fasciata)

Although of medium size, this eagle with a wingspan of 145-165 cm and a body length of 55-60 cm, is extremely strong and combative. The adult is black above with white back (white V between the wings), while below it has a black body and white chest with vertical stripes. A black band can be seen on the tip of the tail.

Eleonora`s falcon (Falco eleonorae)

It is a bird of prey which has been characterized as rare in Europe. It nests in colonies on steep cliffs of islands and islets of N.M.P.A.N.S. (5-100 m. height), between August and October. The incubation lasts 25-30 days and the young leave their nest within 40-44 days.

Peregrine falcon (Falco pelegrinus)

It is one of the fastest species of birds in the world and the most powerful species of hawk in Greece, with a wingspan of 90-115 cm and a body length of 35-50 cm. While perching, it is distinguished by the black stripe on the side of the head (like a favorite or a mustache) while in flight it stands out from the pointed wings and the short tail that narrows at the edge. In the Marine Park, peregrine falcon is found on large islands such as Alonissos, Kyra Panagia, Giura, Skantzoura, Piperi. It feeds mainly on hunting small or medium-sized birds that always catch in the air by the ambush method.

European robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Characteristic of the European robin, which are basically solitary birds, except for the breeding season, is has orange-red color on the face, neck and chest, which he uses by inflating it to scare his enemies. In winter, large numbers of birds migrate to N.M.P.A.N.S. from Central Europe.


Aleppo pine (Pinus helepensis)

Tree 10-20 m tall, rarely 30 m. Trunk usually crooked and branching not in vertebrae (to distinguish from the Turkish pine which is in vertebrae). Crown at a young age conical, at an older age, wide, irregular. Bark at first smooth, shiny, ash-white, later forms a dry bark (thick bark of wood) reddish-brown, with elongated slits. It is found on all large islands in clusters or individuals.

Wild olive tree (Olea Europea var sylvestris)

Tree 10-20 m tall with a wide crown. Bark at first smooth, ash-green, later dry bark is formed with a darker color. It spreads to the Mediterranean countries, near the coasts. In Greece it is found in the coastal, hilly and sub-mountainous (Euro-Mediterranean) zone. The wild olive tree receives a lot of pressure from the livestock, but mainly from its grafting on a tame tree and the creation of olive groves. Most of the island's olive groves came this way. So large forest areas were turned into olive groves and then became plots.

Mastic Tree (Pistacia lentiscus)

 Evergreen, resin-bearing shrub or sapling 1-7 m tall,. Grows even in barren and dry soils in sunny places. Monogenic flowers in stamens. Fruits small, red in color that turn black when ripe.

Cretan maple (Acer sempervirens)

Small tree or large shrub with hard leaves, small leathery with pods or sometimes almost intact. They are the only maples in Greece that retain their leaves all year round. It blooms in April and its flowers are yellow-green. The carp is fluff-free, with fins almost parallel. It is located in the driest areas of the islands of N.M.P.A.N.S..

Myrtle (Myrtus communis)

Multi-branched shrub or sapling 1-5 m tall. Leaves ovate or lanceolate, smooth dark green and glossy. Flowers solitary, fragrant, white, coming out in the axils of the leaves, have five sepals, five white petals and many stamens. Fruits are glossy berry, small, spherical, white or black or blue-black. The plant is found in the wet areas of Alonissos.

Kermes oak (Quercus coccifera)

Usually a shrub up to 2 meters and rarely a large tree 10-15 meters high with dense branches and abundant leaves, ovate, hard, fluffy-thorny, dark green on both sides, 1.5-4 cm long. The periphery of the leaf has wavy grooves or prickly teeth but can also be smooth.

Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis fruticosa)

The genus includes about 100 species of evergreen shrubs and perennials, herbaceous plants with usually grayish and fragrant leaves. They grow even in dry, barren, alkaline or neutral soils and sunny places. They are planted in rock gardens and groups, while they are also for parallel planting. Shrubs are propagated by cuttings and herbaceous plants by division. Appears throughout the N.M.P.A.N.S.

Conehead thyme (Coridothymus capitatus)

It is a perennial shrub up to 50 cm tall, with a strong smell of oregano. It has a strong, upright, square shoot with a small fluff. The leaves are small, linear and sessile, 1-10 mm long. The flowers are small, pink and flowering begins from May to July. Thyme is one of the most popular aromatic plants. It is used as an antiseptic, disinfectant, soothing in bronchitis and whooping cough, auxiliary for respiratory problems and in cases of flu. It is excellent in cases of toothache.

Spring sowbread (Cyclamen repandum)

It is herbaceous plant with tuberous root, of small height, with a spherical tuber, which looks like a potato. Its leaves coming from a growing point on the tuber on a long stem. Its flowers are pink sprouting from the tuber on a long peduncle, slightly fragrant, with a pentameric calyx and a symmetrical crown with five lobes and as they grow bent downwards. Its root is used in medicine.

Friar`s cowl (Arisarum vulgare)

It is a perennial herbaceous plant, 20-40 cm high, without an overground shoot. It grows in shady and wet places, where the sun does not occurs frequently, in many places of N.M.P.A.N.S.. The leaves are large, ovate, heart-shaped, with two ears on the right and left and are glossy. In medicine it is used as a powder against arthritis and rheumatism, always with a medical instruction.