EU DIRECTIVE (92/43/EEC) ON THE CONSERVATION OF NATURAL HABITATS & OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (1992)
With respect to this Directive, Greece originally selected four areas on their Scientific catalogue of sites on Thásos. These were:
The first three sites were chosen for their marine habitats, reefs and Poseidon oceanica beds, whilst Oros Ypsari was selected for its conifer forests (specifically, 'Pallas's pine forests' and 'Mediterranean pine forests with endemic Mesogean') and its Oriental plane woods. The European Union's Interpretation Manual on the Directive's Habitats specifically mentions the 'Aegean pine forests of Thasos' (page 111) and the island's 'Oriental plane woods' (page 102). In a series of seminars for the Mediterranean biogeographical region, Greece subsequently selected only a single site, 'Ormos Potamias - Akrotirio Pyrgos eos Grambousa' as a Site of Community Interest to be put forward as a candidate Special Area for Conservation (cSAC). It is curious that the island's pine forests and the plane woods have been considered not to be of sufficient importance to designate as cSACs when they have been given as prime examples of these biotopes in the Interpretation Manual, but presumably it was felt that better examples existed elsewhere in Greece. As a result, only the littoral habitats of the Potamias coastline will now be protected under the Directive.
There are no plant taxa recorded from Thásos which are included on the Directive but fifteen Annex II animal species have been reported. The most important of these is the Monk seal Monachus monachus, but this has only occurred as a single male and no breeding populations are known. Similarly, the single specimen of the dragonfly Lindenia tetraphylla recorded was almost certainly a vagrant from the adjacent mainland. Of the remaining species, both the spur-thighed tortoise Testudo graeca and the Balkan terrapin Mauremys rivulata(*) are known from several localities and are probably not uncommon in suitable habitats, but both snakes (four-lined snake Elaphe quatorlineata and leopard snake Elaphe situla) and the two whorl snails are known from few records and are presumably scarce on Thásos. In view of the fact that both Vertigo angustior and V. moulinsiana are known in Greece as extant populations only from Thásos, the wetland in which these species occur should also be considered as a candidate SAC. Three horseshoe bat species - Blasius' horseshoe bat Rhinolophus blasii, Lesser horseshoe bat Rhinolophus hipposideros and Greater horseshoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (the latter two species in the caves at Panagia) - have been recorded from the island and the long-fingered bat Myotis capaccinii has been seen feeding over coastal pools at Chrissi Ammoudia. Lance Chilton has photographed the longhorn beetle Morimus asper funereus(**) on the slopes of Ipsation above Potamia. I have no information on the status of moth Callimorpha quadripunctata on the island, other than its inclusion in the original supporting documentation for Oros Ypsari. Emys orbicularis does not appear to have been reported by any of the published herpetological surveys of Thásos, but it has recently been confirmed by two observers as living in a reed-filled ditch at Skala Prinos.
(*) The EC Directive lists the stripe-necked terrapin Mauremys caspica, but recent taxonomic studies (Fritz, U. & Wischuf, T. 1997. Zur Systematik westasiatisch-südosteuropäischer Bachschildkröten (Gattung Mauremys) (Reptilia: Testudines: Bataguridae). Zoologische Abhandlungen, Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde, Dresden, 49: 223-260) have resulted in the Spanish and Balkan sub-species of this complex being raised to specific status: the Spanish terrapin M. leprosa, the Balkan terrapin M. rivulata and the Caspian terrapin M. caspica.
(**) The beetle Morimus funereus is given specific status on the EC Directive but recent molecular research (Solano et al. 2013)has indicated that all five Morimus species in the Western Palaearctic are probably forms of M. asper.
Rhinolophus blasii (Blasius' horseshoe bat)
Rhinolophus hipposideros (Lesser horseshoe bat)
Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (Greater horseshoe bat)
Myotis capaccinii (Long-fingered bat)
Monachus monachus (Monk seal)
Testudo graeca (Spur-thighed tortoise)
Emys orbicularis (European pond terrapin)
Mauremys rivulata (Balkan terrapin)
Elaphe quatuorlineata (Four-lined snake)
Elaphe situla (Leopard snake)
Callimorpha quadripunctata (Jersey tiger moth)
Vertigo angustior (Narrow-mouthed whorl snail)
Vertigo moulinsiana (DesMoulin's whorl snail)
Solano, E. et al. 2013. The EU protected taxon Morimus funereus Mulsant, 1862 (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and its western Palaearctic allies: systematics and conservation outcomes. Conservation Genetics 14: 683–694. DOI 10.1007/s10592-013-0461-3