The Management Body of Ainos National Park has successfully completed, for the 9th consecutive year, the Mid-Winter Counts of Aquatic and Birdwaters in the Geotopes of the Livadi wetland, in the Gulf of Argostoli, in the Koutavos Lagoon and in the artificial of lakes Tzanata.
The Mid-Winter Counts in Kefalonia are carried out by the Management Body of Ainos National Park since 2014 and every January in collaboration with the Hellenic Ornithological Society and are part of a Global Program of the International Wetlands Organization (Wetlands International). These counts are the longest-running biodiversity monitoring program. The recordings focus mainly on aquatic and tropical bird species, without excluding of course some other species, such as some predators or seabirds.
So every year, in the second week of January, in more than 100 countries around the world, about 30 to 40 million aquatic and seabirds are counted. The objectives of this very important census are:
• To monitor the size and trends of aquatic and coastal bird populations and to record changes in their geographical distribution.
• Identify wetlands of international importance for aquatic and coastal bird species, which they use throughout the year.
• To collect information that will help in the protection and proper management of the populations of aquatic and coastal birds, but also of the wetlands through the international conventions, the national legislation of the various states and other means.
In the area of Kefalonia, the counts were carried out between 8 and 14 January 2022, starting from the area of the Livadio Wetland of Paliki and continued in the Koutavos Lagoon, Argostoli Bay and the Artificial Lakes of Tzanata. The staff of the Management Body, consisting of Mr. Panagiotis Mineto, Michael Xanthakis and Dionysia Spanou and recorded species such as: teals, green-headed ducks, reedbucks, white-headed ducks, silver-headed ducks, ash-headed ducks, cormorants, nano-bustards, hawksbills, bald eagles, brown-headed gulls and silver gulls. In total, 638 birds were recorded, of which 343 in the Koutavos Lagoon, 215 in the Wetland of Livadi Paliki, 79 in Argostoli Bay and 1 in the Tzanata Lakes.
We would also like to mention the Management Agency’s valuable contribution to the care of injured birds. In 2021, the Management Agency sent to ANIMA 12 injured birds for treatment that included species such as terns, gulls (2), owls (2), hawks, goats, crows, wasps and greyhounds.
Once again, through these counts and treatments, we found the enormous wealth of birdlife, and in general of the great biodiversity of Kefalonia, which makes us responsible for the preservation and transmission of this wealth to future generations.