As the largest wetlands area in Greece, the Amvrakikos or Ambracian Gulf supports a diverse eco-system that supports over 290 different species of birds, 75 of which are considered endangered. While several of these live year-round within the marshes of the gulf, the majority spend their winters here or come to mate and raise their offspring.
Some of the best locations within the gulf to observe these creatures include the Tsopeli Lagoon near the Louros river delta, the Tsoukalio lagoon, and the observatory just outside the village of Strongylli. The gulf is home to one of the largest colonies of wild pelicans in Europe as well as the largest population of ducks throughout the country. Winter is the ideal time to visit, during which you may see some of the following species: Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope), Northern Shoveler (Anas clyeata) Northern pintail (Anas acuta), Little Stint (Calidris minuta) Common Coot (Nemenius tenuirostris), Kentris Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga), Great Egret (Camerodius albus), Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) and the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelcecanus crispus).
The Amvrakikos Gulf is protected by the Ramsar Convention though continues to be threatened by agricultural activity in the region as well as hunting and urbanization. The Amvrakikos Gulf Welcome and Information centre is located in the village of Strongyli. Here visitors can learn about the delicate ecosystem of the Gulf and the vital role it plays for the thousands of birds that can be found there throughout the year.