Bird life (at Gialova lagoon)
Gialova lagoon is a wetland with numerous bird species, many of which are
migratory. Approx. 271 bird species have been observed at the lagoon and 78 of these are
endangered (Navarino Natura Hall, 2014). The Gialova lagoon is an important stopover for
many migratory birds such as marsh sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis), wood sandpiper (Tringa
glareola), collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola), gull-billed tern (Sterna nilotica), little
egret (Egretta garzetta), and glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) (Hellenic Ornithological
Gialova lagoon is also part of the IBAs network (Important Bird Areas) (Bird life
international 2014a) which aims to conserve a network of areas with especially rich bird
diversity (Bird life international 2014b).
The lagoon is accessible by car and there is a possibility to walk around the entire lagoon. The
rich bird life at Gialova lagoon attracts some visitors and some tours are arranged by the
Costa Navarino hotel but it is mostly individuals who go birding at the lagoon (Giorgos
Maneas, personal communication).
In many coastal areas, tourism is a threat to seabird populations (Hellenic Ornithological Society 2012) and recreation/tourism is estimated to be a medium threat to the lagoon and its bird inhabitants (Hellenic Ornithological Society 2014).
There is a trail that runs very close to the lagoon itself which might be of some consequence
when considering tourism impact on bird life. This trail could be a disturbing element to the
birds since people may come very close and this might be part of the threat. Erection of a new
bird observatory could function as a rallying point for birders who, from there, can watch
birds from a distance instead of walking about over large spaces and possibly frightening the
A correlation has also been made showing that when many birds are present, the
number of visiting tourists gets larger, but as the amount of tourists increases, the number of
birds decreases, and additionally the birds’ minimum distance to the tourists increases
(Collins-Kreiner et al. 2013).
What this demonstrates is that both birds and birders benefit
mutually from small tourist groups and a limited total number of tourists within a certain area.