Alonissos: A Home for Rare Species

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Many of Greece’s islands continue to provide shelter for some of the most precious species of the Mediterranean fauna and flora. At the Sporades complex of islands, off central Greece’s coast, lies Alonissos, an island, famous for the refuge it provides for the Mediterranean monk seal (monachus monachus).  Until recently, the island suffered a steady decline of population due to migration; however, the situation now is reversed thanks to the people’s willingness to preserve both the island’s popular tradition and wildlife.   The National Marine Park of Alonissos had a lot to do with the island’s revival. Being the first designated Marine Park in the country, it has now become the largest marine protected area in Europe. The park is open to visitors who wish to explore the island’s lush nature and approach areas –were permitted- for swimming, snorkelling and observation of the sea bed and wildlife, amateur photography and filming.