Wildfires affect Dadia forest ecosystem

Wildfires affect Dadia forest ecosystem

The painful sight of Dadia forest in the Evros region in Greece has been destroyed by one of the largest wildfires in recent years in Europe. Experts worry over the ecosystem’s survival.

The National Park of Dadia is populated by the cinereous vulture, their unique home within the Balkans. The forests’ trees host about 35 pairs of cinereous vultures and five Egyptian vultures, the only ones in Greece.

Nikos Charalampidis, General Director of Greenpeace, reported that it will take a lot of time for the forest to be restored.

“I don’t know if someone can calmly evaluate the damage right now, since the forest of Dadia was also burnt last year. Last year, the cinereous vultures’ nests were saved. The forest’s core was unaffected.” This year, however, after 16 days of wildfires in Evros the firefighters have not yet managed to stop the fire at Lefkimi and Provatona. “We do not know if there is any of the forest of Dadia left,” he added.

As he noted, “the cinereous vultures’ nests are ruined, they were the healthiest population of vultures in the area.” He added that some of the rarest birds in Europe and even of the world, like the Egyptian vulture, used to visit Dadia forest as migratory birds. Depending on the ecosystem’s restoration, they may not return.

“Some of the trees in the forest are more than 100 years old and on top nest the vultures,” he explained, predicting that some of the rare birds may not be spotted in the area again. “If they survived the fire, they might migrate for some generations and return to some nearby area,” he added.

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