The nature with its biodiversity surrounding Kazaviti on Thassos island in Greece.

Exploring nature on Thassos implies tracking back three thousand years of rural civilization.The Phoenicians first introduced land cultivation on terraced plots; it became characteristic for the surroundings of the inland villages. They also brought the variety of olives called "troumbes" to Thassos. Not even the "wild" landscape of the gorges remained truly natural. Early settlers constructed dams with heavy bolder's of rock in order to direct the flow of water. Also the predominant pine forest on Thassos is largely man made: at the arrival of antique civilisation on Thassos the original forest consisted of mixed broadleaf trees and much less pine compared with today. Four species of oak and several other leaf trees were native to Thassos; they were pushed back by wood cutting, the browsing of goats and by the dynamic pine (Pinus brutia) which spreads by light seeds. Pine is also much better adapted to the increasingly arid climatic conditions.The island was carrying a much denser and widely dispersed human population in antique times ( app. five times the present number). When density dropped drastically, it was mostly the pine that spread fast over the formerly cultivated land. Only in high altitudes an original forest of black pine (Pinus nigra) existed that was largely independent of human interference. Forestry on Thassos always supported the pine (Pinus brutia). The distribution of broadleaf trees and undergrowth was systematically suppressed by selective cutting. This preference of pine mono-cultivation is both an economic and an ecological non-sense, because pine is a rather worthless tree, burns easily , ruins the quality of soils and does not attract precipitation like the broadleaf tree species do. Strikingly enough, the most diverse and valuable forest developed around the present inland villages. In that zone goat herding was traditionally banned, because of the cultivated plots surrounding the settlements, the soil was much enriched by manure and treatment over many centuries and forestry played no role in close vicinity to farming. So when the village people had moved to the coast during the earlier decades of last century until about 1950, an amazing bio diversity evolved around the largely abandoned villages on their extensive fields and gardens.
In the vicinity of Kazaviti, the extensive belt of broadleaf woodlands was only little affected by the forest fire of 1989 that devastated most of the pure pine forest. The oaks and chestnut trees affected by the fire very quickly recovered or regenerated from the roots. The gorges remained largely unaffected, because the fire did not descend the steep sides of the ravines. So the ancient plane trees there all survived unharmed. These plane tree woodland in the shelter of the gorges is unique and most valuable - a natural monument that is explicitly protected by the European Union's (EU) Habitat Directive 92/43/EEC. Kazaviti is ideally suited for environmental nature Conservation Areas as it provides undisturbed habitat for several endangered species.

Kazaviti Nature Spring Autumn Winter Snow
Moods Historic photos Hl. Mount Athos Gjirokastra Villa Karavousi Villa Kavanosi
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Chestnut forest

Former vineyards

Emperor Moth

Former gardens

No pesticides..

only natural fertilizer

Edge of the gorge

Rural paths

Greek Tortoise

Ancient paths

Rhinoceros Beetle

Prehistoric tower

Beetles on lilac bush

Old Road scenery

Green Lizard

Prehistoric dam

Ancient plane tree

Plane trees

At the Old Road

Plane tree forest

Ivy on plane trees

Still unspoiled..

...and unexplored

- the Kazaviti gorge

In early summer..

...streams disappear

Mountain spring

Frog species

Autumn in the gorge

Pines in the gorge
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