SURVEY OF THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN IMPACT ON THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND LANDSCAPE OF A PROTECTED AREA. THE CASE OF SOUTHERN MANI (GR2540008), GREECE
Published: 7 Jun 2016
Abstract: Since antiquity humans have been affecting nature to varying degrees. Many areas due to their specificities, e.g. rare species of flora and fauna, have become lately a source of great interest to the society due to their ecological value. For the conservation of the biodiversity of these important areas, they have been set under a special protection regime accompanied with formal measures. Mani is located at the southernmost tip of mainland Greece in the Peloponnese region. South Mani is an area of great ecological value and is included in the Natura 2000 network (code GR2540008). The area covers more than 132.000 acres including mountains, forests, pasture and agricultural land. In the area there are more than 280 villages and small settlements; their vast majority is not inhabited nowadays. The purpose of this study is to present data concerning the perceptions of the area by the people and relate them to the continuous impact of human activity in an area of such a great morphological and ecological interest. The tools used were mainly quantitative (questionnaires) and some qualitative (in depth interviews). The results have shown that most changes were due to road network development, building development and the reduction of the population of several bird species. Finally, one could say that the region has not changed for decades with regard to its’ main characteristics.
Keywords: human impact, landscape, protected area, gr2540008
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