'All creatures great and small'>> View Photo Gallery
Thanks to its unique geographic location, Messinia is one of the first places in continental Greece (and mainland Europe in general) where migratory birds stop over in the spring. Even the remnants of wetlands around the mouth of the Pamissos River, west of Kalamata, are full of birds during that time of year.
Most natural ecosystems in lowland Messinia have long been converted to agricultural land. Yet there are still some sparsely inhabited places, such as the area of Cape Akritas and various offshore islets, which host significant populations of songbirds, raptors and sea fowl.
The Mount Taygetos ridge is a haven for a variety of bird species. The upland forests and alpine areas, as well as the gorges on the lower parts close to Messinian Mani, are among the richest habitats for raptors and forest species (such as woodpeckers).
The outstanding natural heritage of Messinia also includes the only European population of the African chameleon in the Gialova lagoon, the second most important Mediterranean habitat of the Caretta caretta sea turtle in the Gulf of Kiparissia, the Mediterranean seal and the Bottlenose dolphin around the Inousses islets near Methoni, as well as less "popular" species such as bats and endemic lizards, jackals, the Marginated tortoise, the European hedgehog and numerous resident bird species.
The bird calls you can hear on this website have all been recorded from species living or stopping over in the Gialova lagoon and the region of Messinia!