Huge environmental destruction took place in August 2023 due to forest fires which ravaged many parts of Greece,
The National Park of Dadia – Lefkimi – Soufli is located in northern Greece, was on fire for 15 consecutive days leading to the loss of a valuable part of its natural wealth. In total almost 58% of the protected area was burned down.
Sadly, a year earlier the area had already been on fire burning for more than a week.
The National Park of Dadia – Lefkimi – Soufli was one of the first areas in Greece to be established with protected status; being declared as a protected area in 1980 and as a national park in 2006.
The National Park is home to a great number of rare species of birds. It is notable that 3 out of 4 vulture species of Europe are found there; Aegypius monachus, Neophron percnopterus and Gyps fulvus.
The area is in the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa close to the migration route of many bird species, thus gaining a unique geographical place on a national level.
The park stretches to 42.800ha and 360-400 plant species, 104 butterfly species, 12-13 amphibia species, 29 reptile species and 60-65 mammal species have also been recorded.
What is more, the particularly aesthetic landscapes with rock formations, streams and rivers, the endemic plants and the points of geological interest of the area are of high ecological value.
Scientists express fears that the forest has been destroyed forever and it will not be possible to return it to its former state as some of the trees need 100-150 years to grow.
It is also claimed that climate change played a major role in the fierocity of the fires, since summers have been getting drier and the drought is likely to have contributed to the increasing numbers of fires.
Satellite image credentials: Copernicus EMS Twitter