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Hellenic Wildlife Hospital (EKPAZ)


Until a few years ago, Aegina had a well-developed and diverse ecosystem. One reason is that humans did not wage war against bothersome wild animals, recognising their beneficial role in balancing the environment. Historical evidence indicates there were omnivores such as jackals and foxes, along with eagles and vultures. As a great number of refugees at the end of Turkish occupation arrived on the island, the forests and fauna began to decline. The number of foxes declined to the extent that partridges formed large flocks that walked along agricultural roads and caused extensive damage to crops. Nowadays, Aegina's ecosystem is much simpler ecologically speaking. There are no carnivorous mammals as in the past, but many endemic species remain: grouse (mountain partridges or "tsouka"), hares, wild rabbits and foxes (because their numbers have decreased significantly, the island's hunting club imports them from elsewhere to help balance the ecosystem). As the island lies in the eastern migratory corridor, many migratory birds are seen periodically, including woodcocks, turtle doves, quail and thrushes. In order to boost the populations of existing fauna, a large area around the Wildlife Hospital has been set aside as a protected wildlife reserve. Hunting in the area is prohibited year-round.

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