Alien species are animals and plants introduced by accident or deliberately into a natural environment where they would not be normally found. A small proportion of these alien species becomes invasive and has significant negative consequences for their new environment, as they impact biodiversity and ecosystem services, causing damage worth millions of euros every year. LIFE ATIAS (LIFE18/NAT/GR/000430) is the first coordinated effort to address this threat in Greece. The project aims to establish an early detection and rapid eradication system for IAS in Northern Greece. Moreover, it will introduce a technical and administrative framework for the local eradication within and around NATURA 2000 sites, and the containment of the feral population of American mink (Neovison vison) in the wider regions of western and central Macedonia.
Approximately 50,000 of American minks were deliberately released from fur farms by animal rights activists in 2010 in the regions of Kastoria and Kozani. Although more than half of them were either captured or found dead soon after their release, a considerable number of individuals was successfully established and has spread to different directions following the Aliakmonas River valley and its tributaries, with records extending also to the Regions of Florina, Grevena and Pella. This feral population poses a major threat to biodiversity, especially in the Special Protected Areas of the NATURA 2000 network GR1320003. Limni Orestias - Kastoria and GR1340001. Ethnikos Drymos Prespon - Florina.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s LIFE programme (LIFE18NAT/GR/000430)

With the contribution of the Green Fund