Project beneficiary: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Greece

MPA: Ainos National Park

Context: Ainos National Park is located in Western Greece, Ionian Sea, and covers terrestrial, coastal and marine habitats of Cephalonia and Ithaca Islands. The project will focus on three Natura 2000 sites within the Park, which include habitats critical for nesting, migration and foraging of the loggerhead sea turtles. Tourism, especially cruise ships and island visitors, in addition to fishing and recreational vessels, exerts a pressure on these critical habitats. Information on the spatial extent, distribution, population density, and foraging behaviour of sea turtles in their habitats is urgently needed for conservation planning and adaptive management.

Project objective: The aim of the project is to improve the management and protection of marine turtle habitats (nesting, foraging, migration) in Ainos National Park. The activities of the project include collecting and analysing data on the spatial distribution and behaviour of turtles and on human pressures, developing monitoring protocols for the identification of « hotspots for intervention », and integrating monitoring indicators in adaptive management plans to facilitate decision-making.

Duration: 18 months

Budget total: 22,000 €

Financed by MedPAN: 15,400 €

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