A rugged area dominated by phrygana with dispersed Quercus macrolepis. The inaccessible northern areas of the site are dominated by maquis. Human activities include livestock-farming, tourism and quarrying.
The site is important for breeding and passage raptors and also other migrants. Breeding birds include nine of the 21 species in Europe that are restricted (when breeding) to the Mediterranean biome. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (non-breeding), Aquila clanga (non-breeding), Larus audouinii (non-breeding).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats are overgrazing and tourist developments. A large dam and associated infrastructure are currently being constructed. Part of the area is a candidate SAC.
National Partial International NonePart of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Mesoros/Agra Lesvou, 600 ha). Part of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Apolithomena/Sigriou, 800 ha). Part of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Skamniouda/Antissas, 600 ha). Part of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Vathia Koilada-Kelemia Antissas, 400 ha). 15,000 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Petrified Forest of Lesbos Island, 15,000 ha).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Southwestern Lesvos and Petrified forest. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 29/01/2023.