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Protected area of Dadia ForestDadia in Evros, Greece
The National Park of the forest of Dadia - Lefkimi - Soufli is one of the most important protected areas at national, european and international level. The forest has pine and oak trees, pastures and cultivated areas and creates an ideal environment for birds of prey. The National Park encompasses three of Europe's four species of vultures (“black vulture”, “Griffon vulture” and “Egyptian vulture”), and hosts the only “Mavrogypa” colony in the Balkans.
Dadia forest with two strictly protected zones of 72,900 hectares and a total area of 357,100 hectares has been protected since 1980 by national and international conventions and legislation.
The forest hots 36 of Europe's 38 rare species of endangered birds of prey, most notably the eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) and the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina). The National park is now included in the Greek Natura 2000 catalog. The total area covered by Natura 2000 network is 43,000 hectares, which, according to the Common Ministerial Decision of 1980, includes two strict protection areas (7,290 hectares).
Regarding the administrative framework of the National Park, the responsible management bodies are: the Management Body, the Municipality of Soufli, the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and the Forest Service. The responsibilities of the Management Body are mainly focused on the operation of the Information Center (Environmental Education), supervision, implementation of pilot programs, field surveys and strategies for enhancing sustainable development in the region of Dadia. The Forest Service is responsible for the implementation of forestry legislation, while the Municipality of Soufli and the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace play a supporting role especially in matters related to infrastructure improvement and technical studies. The aforementioned bodies as well as the representatives of the Ministries of Rural Development and the Environment, Energy and Climate Change, local cooperatives and non-governmental environmental organizations participate in the Board of the National Park.