Report of Lemnos Agro-Pastoral Ecosystems Avifauna

By Hellenic Ornithological Society

Lemnos is the sixth largest island in the Aegean archipelago (eighth largest among Greek islands) and is characterized by mild geomorphology, high habitat diversity and long coastline. Agro-ecosystems along with wetlands are the main ecosystems on the island, hosting a large number of organisms. The basic use of land remains agriculture and livestock farming, while the tourism sector has been developing in recent years. The avifauna of Lemnos Island is high, with 222 bird species recorded so far (Kakalis, personal data).

Considering the high geographic isolation of the island and the lack of large mountainous volumes (the highest peak on the island is only 430 meters above sea level) as factors limiting the abundance of species, we could characterize the existence of so many species as particularly important.

A significant percentage of bird species is directly or indirectly related to the agro-ecosystems of the island. Cereal crops (wheat, barley, oats etc.), vineyards, as well as intense variations of these crops with meadows, phrygana or wetland areas create a strong mosaic of micro environments in which a high bird diversity is recorded.

Within the Terra Lemnia project, we have focused on recording the diversity of avifauna in a wide range of agro-ecosystems which are present on the island. Our aim was to record avifauna in as many agro-ecosystems, such as cereal crops, vineyards,
meadows, phrygana and combinations of the above. A specific objective of our work was to design sampling in such a way as to draw conclusions linking either the biocommunity of birds as a whole or individual species with specific farming practices.