Red deer conservation in Greece
Europe/Middle-East > Southern Europe > Greece
Just 30km north of Athens, Mt Parnitha National Park is a great place to see nature so close to the city. The ancient Greeks believed that the goat-footed god Pan used to come to Parnitha to play his music and dance in the forest. Today, one still finds forests, brooks, caves, alpine flowers, foxes, birds and deer.
The red deer population in Parnitha is one of the few in Greece, and, by far, the most significant. WWF and its partners are working in the park to improve conservation, including red deer monitoring and research, as well as environmental education activities. WWF is also working on forest regeneration projects after Parnitha suffered extensive damage from a wildfire in 2007.
The flora of Mount Parnitha is one of the richest in Greece. It includes over 1,000 plant species, 96 of which are endemic to Greece, rare or protected. Concerning the fauna, it is the richest in the entire region, despite the human pressure. 132 bird species have been recorded, 25 mammal species, 30 species of reptiles and amphibians.
Mount Parnitha is the largest out of 4 mountains that encircle Athens. The central mountainous part of Parnitha was proclaimed a national reserve in 1961. Mount Parnitha is included in the European ecological network Natura 2000 for the variety of its habitat, wild fauna and flora. It is also a "landscape of exceptional natural beauty" by national law.
Being close to the urban center, the Parnitha reserve can successfully host public awareness, environmental education and communication activities.
- Raise public awareness for the national reserve of Parnitha, and protected forest ecosystems, through the implementation of public participation activities.
- Enforce the cooperation between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the local authorities responsible for the protection of the area.
- Improve the conservation status of the area through the scientific research on the red deer population.
- Implementation of 2-years scientific monitoring of red deers.
- Implementation of a technical study for the sign-posting of the reserve.
- Implementation of an energy audit at one of the mountain shelters of Parnitha.
- Implementation of specific works at the mountain shelter building in order to reduce its energy requirements.
- Production of environmental education materials for schools.
- Implementation of outdoor education activities and games for adults and children.