Nature Park Kalochori Thessaloniki
Kalochori (Greek: Καλοχώρι) is a village and a community of the Delta municipality. Before the 2011 local government reform it was part of the municipality of Echedoros, of which it was a municipal district.The 2011 census recorded 4,672 inhabitants in the village. Its earliest name was Kaskarka and is due to the many geese that lived in the swampy area of the delta complex of the French and Axios rivers, nowadays the protected Axiosʼ Delta National Park. The community of Kalochori covers an area of 32.127 km2.
The ecosystem in Kalochori, Thessaloniki, is located on the west side of Thermaikos Gulf and is the beginning of the Axios Delta National Park. In the area you can see the estuary of the Galikos River and the Kalohori lagoon. Here are the estuaries of Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas, while in the southern part there is the lagoon of Alykes Kitrous. An incredible wetland with over 295 bird species to live there, 27 species of amphibians and reptiles coexist harmoniously.
On the west coast of the Thermaic gulf lies one of the most important ecosystems in Greece: the wetland complex which includes the Lagoon of Kalochori, the estuary of the Gallikos river, the delta of the Axios river as well as its riverbed up to the border with FYROM, the estuary of the Loudias river, the delta of the Aliakmon river, the wetland of Nea Agathoupoli and the Alyki Kitrous wetlands.
This constitutes a system of river estuaries, marshes, lagoons and salt flats. Thanks to the considerable alternation in its ecological conditions – ranging from agricultural crops and fields to salty ground, marshes and dunes – this region is an ideal biotope for many species of wild animals and birds. Almost three hundred kinds of birds take refuge here, many of which are rare and threatened, such as the avocet, the glossy ibis, the pygmy cormorant, the Dalmatian pelican and the black-headed seagull, while the riverine forest of the Axios river hosts one of the most important mixed colonies of birds in Greece, as well as in Europe. Apart from birds, the region is also very important for many kinds of mammals, like the ground squirrel, as well as for reptiles, as it hosts one of the largest populations of Mediterranean tortoise in all of Europe.
Source: AXIOS – LOUDIAS – ALIAKMONAS ESTUARIES MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY