Antikythira island


The natural setting of the site

Antikythira 35° 52’ N; 23° 18’ E is a small Greek island of 20 km² located 32 km SE of the island of Kythira, 59 km S of the Peloponnesus Peninsula and 33 km NW of Crete. It is predominantly a mountainous and dry island with two main mountain massifs, Troula in the NW (212 m a.s.l.) and Plagara in the SW (378 m a.s.l.). The vegetation is composed mostly of maquis and garrigue, with some little olive groves. The watchpoint is located in the northern side of the island at an approximate elevation of 220 m above the sea level.

The migration survey

Observations started in the 2007 and highlighted the importance of Antikythira during autumn migration. The most numerous species are Honey Buzzards, Marsh Harriers and Black Kites. The island is important for the autumn migration of Eurasian Sparrowhawk as well. Regular migrants are also Egyptian Vulture, Levant Sparrowhawk and Booted Eagle. During spring the most abundant species are the Honey Buzzard, the Common Buzzard and the Marsh Harrier. It is the only inhabited island with the largest colony of Eleonora’s Falcon. Regular raptor counts are carried out by Antikythira Bird Observatory/Hellenic Ornithological Society (Birdlife Greece).

How to get there?

Antikythira is connected to the mainland only by sea, with Piraeus (via Kythira), with Crete (Kissamos port in W Crete) and with Peloponnesus (Gythio port, via Kythira).

MEDRAPTORS (Mediterranean Raptor Migration Network)
ABO (Antikythira Bird Observatory)
HOS (Hellenic Ornithological Society)

Main references

  • Panuccio M., Barboutis C., Chiatante G., Evangelidis A. & Agostini N. 2016. Pushed by increasing air temperature and tailwind speed: weather selectivity of raptors migrating across the Aegean Sea. Ornis Fennica 93: 159-171.
  • Agostini N., Lucia G., Mellone U., Panuccio M., Von Hardenberg J., Evangelidis A. & Kominos T. 2012. Loop migration of adult European Honey Buzzards (Pernis apivorus, Linnaeus, 1758) through the Central-Eastern Mediterranean. Italian Journal of Zoology 79(2): 280-286.
  • Panuccio M., Agostini N. & Barboutis C. 2013. Raptor migration in Greece: a review. Avocetta 37:1-7.
  • Panuccio M., Chiatante G. & Tarini D. 2013. Two different migration strategies in response to an ecological barrier: Western Marsh Harriers and juvenile European Honey Buzzards crossing the central-eastern Mediterranean in autumn. Journal of Biological Research-Thessaloniki 19: 10-18.
  • Lucia G., Agostini N., Panuccio M., Mellone U., Chiatante G., Tarini D., Evangelidis A. 2011. Raptor migration at Antikythira, in southern Greece. British Birds, 104: 266-270.