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GREECE > IONIAN > ZAKYNTHOS > NATIONAL SEA PARK OF ZAKYNTHOS
NATIONAL SEA PARK OF ZAKYNTHOS
The National Sea Park of Zakynthos is the first at its kind in Greece, aiming to protect the important natural and cultural inheritance of the region.
It is located in the south part of Zakynthos. The biggest part of the Sea Park includes the sea and ground region of Laganas Gulf, where are the most important beaches of turtle Caretta – caretta. Also a protected land around the aqua land of Keriou lake, the islands Strofades and the islets Marathonisi, Pezoulo and Agios Sostis, which along with the north beaches (Gerakas, Dafni, Kalamaki and Sekania) are of great ecological importance.
The land of the Sea Park is representative of the Mediterranean island ecosystem. The coastal zone includes sandy beaches, aqua lands and rocky shores, while forestal and rural lands with olive groves and vineyards characterize the ground zone. The peripheral zone is consisted by seven settlements.
In the gulf of Lagana you will see many rare specimen of fauna and flora. Most important are the turtle Caretta – caretta and the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus – monachus, which are threatened with extinction according to the Red Book of IUCN.
The region of Laganas owes its name to the sandy shores, which are considered the best place for Caretta – caretta to make eggs in. The fast tourist development improved the region’s economy, but was catastrophic at first for the survival of this turtle. So it was essential the proclamation of Laganas’ Gulf as a National Sea Park. The region gained international fame, as one of the last refuges of Caretta-caretta marine turtle in Mediterranean Sea. Turtles now make their eggs in the sand and when the nurslings are hatched they find their way to the sea without being disturbed by human presence.
Other species threatened by extinction and live in this area are: rinodelfina, water-snakes, frogs, water turtles, dendrogalies, vipers, lizards, hedgehogs, hares, rodents, etc. Strofades islands are an important pass and station of emigrating birds such as: turtledoves, swallows, sea- gulls, hoopoe, wild swans, etc.
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