A wetland complex with lagoons, saltpans (`Other' land-use, below), extensive saltmarshes, freshwater marshes, sandbanks, and a remnant area of alluvial forest.
This is an important site for breeding, passage and wintering waterbirds and raptors. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Phalacrocorax pygmeus (wintering), Pelecanus crispus (10 wintering individuals), Aythya nyroca (passage), Haliaeetus albicilla (wintering), Aegypius monachus (wintering), Aquila clanga (wintering), Aquila heliaca (2 resident individuals), Gallinago media (passage). The site holds 20,000 or more waterbirds in winter, on a regular basis (including Anas penelope 10,000; Anas crecca 3,000; Anas clypeata 3,000; Fulica atra 15,500).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threat to the site is from intensive agriculture and associated drainage and water management schemes. The completed diversion of the Evinas river and the current project to divert the Acheloos river are also major threats. Part of the area is a candidate SAC.
National Partial International Partial1,000 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Varasova/Galata-Perithoriou, 1,000 ha). 550 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Pouri-Asprolith/A. Kerasovou, 550 ha). Part of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Kantilia-Valti/Astakou, 3,500 ha). 46 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Lesini Ash Forest, 46 ha). Part of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Messolonghi Lagoons, 33,687 ha). 33,000 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Delta Acheloou, Limnothalassa Mesolongiou-Aitoliko kai Ekvoles Evinou, 34,941 ha). Part of IBA covered by Biogenetic Reserve.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 26/01/2022.