Biodiversity and habitats

Messinia is a region with one of the highest biodiversity levels in Europe. The preservation of this biodiversity and the protection of the important habitats in the vicinity of Costa Navarino is a key element of the development.

At a close distance from Navarino Bay, between the village of Gialova and the bay of Voidokilia, extends Gialova lagoon, one of the most significant wetlands in all of Europe. The Gialova lagoon is home to a unique and diverse bird population that includes 271 different species. Costa Navarino is supporting research projects on the lagoon’s avifauna and the impact of climate change on the ecosystem of the lagoon through the Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO). In parallel, works together with local authorities and NGOs for the design and implementation of habitat protection strategies.

Gialova Lagoon is also home to African chameleons. Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO) has partnered with the Department of Sciences and Mathematics, Environmental Studies/ Biomedical Science Areas of the American College of Greece (Deree), on an ongoing project to characterize the population of the endemic and critically endangered species of the African chameleon in Gialova lagoon.

Additionally, Costa Navarino has launched an extensive monitoring and protection program for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in cooperation with Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece. The program annually records the Caretta Caretta population while mapping, monitoring and protecting the nests using GPS technology. A detailed action plan ensures that eggs and hatchlings are protected until their final journey to the sea.

The nesting data for the last ten years show that the development of Costa Navarino has had no negative impact on the nesting habits of sea turtles on Romanos Beach. The location of the buildings and the special design of the lighting installed at the facilities of Costa Navarino (low intensity lights with special covers), combined with the peripheral planting of selected shrubs, which act as a natural light barrier, provide sufficient protection against artificial light which may discourage female sea turtles from nesting and disorient hatchlings.