In and outside of the River, the Aherontas region is teeming with wildlife. Within the river, fresh water fish such as Trout, eels, and frogs…… on which otters feed. There is also a large variety of turtles and snakes, as well as wild cats and wolves which are supported by the river’s diverse ecosystem. These animals pose no threat to hikers, though walkers should stick to the paths to avoid accidental encounters with snakes.
Gulf of Amvrakikos
The Amvrakikos Gulf is one of the most important wetlands in Greece and one of key significance in Europe. Over 290 species of birds live in the Gulf, some permanently and others as a stop along their migration routes. The birds and marine animals favour the area not only for the physical shelter that the thick reeds and trees provide, but the ample supply of fish, shell fish and amphibians within the water and wetlands of the Gulf. The Gulf is home to one of the largest pods of Bottlenose Dolphins within Greece. Endangered species such as the Monachus monachus or Monk seal along with the Caretta caretta or the Loggerhead Turtle both take shelter within the protected waters of the Gulf. Here they feed on Grey and Red Mullet, mussels, and clams.
This natural lake and surrounding area remind visitors more of Switzerland than Greece. Nevertheless, it is one of the country’s most beautiful landscapes and an invaluable ecosystem that supports a wide array of wildlife including Swamp, River and Meadow Turtles, the Common Toad and the Green Toad, the Dalmatian Frog, Tree Frog, Green Frog, and Western Greece Frog as well as a few snake species. It is also home to a number of mammals including 70 different species of bats, otters, wild cats, wild boars and jackals as well as several fish species.
Excavations at both Kokkinopilos and the Cave of Asprohalkou have both shed light on the important role the Louros River Valley area played in prehistoric times. Experts believe that the river supported an abundant range of wildlife that enabled groups of hunter-gatherers to survive in the area over centuries. Today the river continues to support a diverse variety of birds, fish mammals, reptiles and amphibians in the area. Otters, moles, wild cats, Mediterranean, Rock and Swamp Turtles, toads and frogs are just some of the animals that depend on the Louros River for their sustenance. Within the river, eels, Trout, and other species of fish flourish, though during the last few decades, their numbers have been reduced due to the severe pollution problem the river faces.
This incredible marsh lies in the northernmost section of the prefecture and spills into part of neighbouring Ioannina region as well. Despite the fact that it occupies a space between 100 -150 meters (depending on which season it is) the Kalodiki Marsh is an invaluable ecosystem with over 300 types of plants, 120 species of birds, 20 different mammals, 11 reptiles, 5 kinds of amphibians and several fish species. Kalodiki Marsh is part of the Natura 2000 initiative designed to protect such important ecological environments. The marsh is a haven to several species that enjoy the protection of its waters and the bounty of the food it provides. Several types of frogs, salamanders as well as beavers and otters make their homes within the waters of the marsh while skunks, weasels, foxes, hedgehogs and wild cats take advantage of the rich supply of food along the banks of the marsh.