Aliki Lake in Lemnos

Aliki Lake on Lemnos: Aliki is a coastal salt marsh, located in the eastern part of the island of Lemnos. The lake covers an area of about 1600 acres and has retained its near-pristine condition. Aliki is distanced from the sea by a 2 kilometer stretch of dunes, each some 100-150 m in width. The abundance of water in winter lends Aliki the appearance of a lake, while in summer the water evaporates, leaving the area full of salt and making it a salt marsh.

There is a vast area of underwater sea-grass, or meadows, known as Posidonia oceanica beds. They are also instrumental in absorbing carbon dioxide. This helps to counteract the effects of global warming. Apart from harboring a number of different ecosystems, the wetland also acts as a common ground for certain species. Saltwater plants such as scrubs, glasswort swards and broad-leaved vegetation in the form of olive trees, salt cedar, cactus, and oak are characteristic of the wetland. Sea daffodil, common reed, and sea holly are other species of flora present there. The sand dunes are home to Trachomitum venetum (hemp) whose presence in Greece is unique.

The environment of Lake Aliki is conducive to the breeding of several species of birds including the Collared Pratincole, the Black Winged Stilt, and the Pied Avocet. The Lesser Kestrel, a species of small falcon, is also bred. The nature of the wetland also makes it an excellent resting place for migratory birds. Aliki is known to have the largest seasonal gathering of flamingos in Greece. Among the animal species are bottlenose dolphins, the Greek tortoise or spur-thighed tortoise and the Caspian tortoise.

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