The wetland of Almyros

Distance 6 km. west of Heraklion

The wetland of Almyros is located along the north coast of the Malevizi district, 6 km. west of Heraklion. It consists of the main spring, the lagoon and the river, as well as a marshland of about half a sq. km. around. The lake ‘Kolymbos’ is 20 m. deep, and that’s where the spring of fresh water is. The lake not only collects rain water, but the melting snow of Mount Ida as well, through a complicated system of underground rivers. In great depth, the fresh and salty sea water are mixed together. The average water flow is 7 cubic meter/min. The river is snaking in a length of 1800 m. and its width is 5-20m.

The Almyros wetland has a great eco value. There is a big diversity of eco systems, flora and fauna. More than 21 different eco systems live there. Besides the water plants in the river, there are a lot of wild bamboos, tamarisks, rushes and the endemic to Crete palm, (Phoenix Theofrasti). In the water are 5 different species of fish and eels, 3 species of amphibians, and 6 species of reptiles. There is a large population of freshwater turtles as well. 177 different birds have been recorded, but also several rodents such as the unique endemic Cretan mice.

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