Actions description

-2013-2014: Recordings and species populationassessment
  • 122 different species were observed in Lake Stymphalia and its surrounding areas. The reproduction of 7 aquatic bird species, 2 heron species and 1 raptor species were confirmed in the lake.
  • The most important bird species nesting and breeding in the area are: Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), Purple heron (Ardea purpurea) and Little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus).
  • For Ferruginous Duck it is estimated that 6 to 9 pairs and for Purple heron 1 to 3 pairs are reproducing. 2 adult female Little bitterns are estimated to be reproducing within the extended reed.
  • The main threat to the breeding species of the avifauna, as well as to the other protected elements, seems to be the decrease in the water level within the lake.
  • In the context of LIFE- Stymfalia project for the first time a Management Plan for the protected site was submitted to the Ministry of Environment & Energy in 2014.
-2015: 1st Research Pilot Cutting
  • In October 2015, the first research cutting program for 12 acres was carried out at selected locations in the northern part of the lake. The aim was to monitor the reedbed growth and ecosystem response to the cutting programs so as to determine the proper rotation of reedbed cuttings.
  • Favorable year for the important species of the lake, and in particular for the Ferruginous Duck. Large populations were recorded in spring and summer (as 55 individuals), while in October 2015 they exceeded 150 individuals.
  • Due to the illegal fire that burned half of the reedbed site in January 2015 and the particularly rainy spring, the proportions of free water surfaces to reedbeds prevailing in the wetland were ideal: 50% reeds, 25% open waters, 25% wetland.
-2016: 2nd Research Cutting
  • The absence of any water management interventions in the wetland or into the aquatic vegetation, in conjunction with the drought conditions in spring- summer has led to a deterioration of the status of the breeding species.
  • With the low water level in spring and the extreme draught conditions in the summer, more arid and snowflakes, which nest on the edges of high water concentration and less the ducks and hawthorns, were most affected.
  • The dry regional reedbed allowed the terrestrial predators (wild boars, jackals, foxes) to access nests, eggs and chicks of aquatic species. Traces of mammalian routes were evident in the summer even in the center of the lake.
  • The second research cutting program of 70 acres was carried out in September 2016. With the reed bed cutting program, channels and openings were created within the reedbed area. It is estimated that as the ongoing reeling program continues seamlessly, it will partially reverse the negative situation and help the species in drought periods.
-2017: 3rd Research Cutting
  • The rejection of the request for the small- scale water interventions, in combination with the extreme drought conditions in the lake during spring- summer, resulted for the year 2017 to be the worst year since 2016, with large concentrations of dead fish and invertebrates in the central part of the lake.
  • Without water management, it is considered that the prospects for the priority species are ominous, despite the improvement that will occur in the feeding sites of the cutting program.
  • With the 3rd research cut of 150 acres in September 2017, the channel Purification and the transportation of cut biomass to landfill was achieved. In the southern region of the Lake Stymphalia three temporary islands were also created to protect the avifauna with the use of the reedbed that was cut.