MEDPONDS - Actions for the conservation of Mediterranean temporary ponds in Crete
The project aim was to restore the Mediterranean Temporary Ponds (MTPs) habitat to the favourable status that existed prior to human interference in the area in Western Crete, in Greece. The project achieved the following main results: re-establishment of natural hydroperiod prior to human interventions; re-establishment of habitat's original communities; restoration and preservation of ponds' water quality at a favourable status; clean and protected habitat areas; public participation in habitat protection and preservation; non-access areas and controlled eco-tourist development. For each site, a management plan was designated and specific actions were implemented to improve their ecological state and to avert or minimise threats caused by human activities. The project highlighted the need for protection through specific management actions and future conservation efforts on the part of local communities. To ensure the continued preservation of the MTPs, the project educated stockbreeders, hotel owners and farmers of each area for the values of the ponds and the problems caused by their practices. Finally, the project also constructed the necessary infrastructure and generated the required information that enables the area to maximise its potential for ecotourism.