Roadless Αreas and sustainable development in Greece


2019 - 2020


Measure: Innovative actions with citizens


Pindos Perivallontiki


Biodiversity Conservation Lab, UOI

Project team

Dr. Vassiliki Kati. Scientific coordinator

Antonia Galani. Project coordinator

Dr. Christina Kassara, biologist

Dr. Haritakis Papaioannou, biologist

Dr. Olga Tzortzakaki, biologist

Maria Psaralexi, biologist, PhD student (AUTH)

Maria Petridou, agronomist, PhD student (BCL/UOI)

Monika Hoffmann, forester, PhD student, Polish Academy of Sciences

Contribution to tackling the problem of fragmentation of the landscape and natural ecosystems from new road networks

  1. National map of extended roadless areas (RAs)

    Full digitization of the existing road network within an area of ​​10,765 km2 and updating of the area of ​​the extended (RAs)
  2. Ecological functionality of RAs

    Prioritization of RAs in terms of their ecological value on the basis of the normalized Ecological Value Index of Roadless Areas (EVIRA) derived from open global data.
  3. RAs and Natura 2000 network

    Investigating the contribution of the Natura 2000 network to the maintenance of RAs. Spatial analysis of RAs inside and outside the 2000 network, using the Geographic Information System.
  4. RAs and wildlife: Balkan chamois

    Investigation of the contribution of RAs to the conservation of wild fauna, focusing on the Balkan chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica), a species protected by Directive 92/43/EC. Distribution pattern analysis and ecological modeling of habitat selection of the largest chamois population in Greece, on Mount Tymfi.
  5. Policy brief

    Synthesis of results in a final report regarding the use of RAs in the national environmental planning
  6. Public awareness

    Collection of opinions from the Greek society on the road topic and production of a video spot on the negative effects of roads and on the importance of preserving RAs.
  7. Results dissemination

    Dissemination of results to the competent Ministries and agencies, to the scientific community, to international scientific networks, as well as to the general public through popular science texts and a website.




Date of release

CC use


National map

Open spatial database of the RAs of Greece (kml-Google Earth)


CC BY 4.0


Ecological function

Spatial ecological function database (shape files)





Natura 2000

Report on the relationship of RAs with the Natura 2000 network (pdf)





International peer reviewed publication on the road impact on Balkan chamois  (open access paper)


CC BY 4.0


Policy brief

Guideline of using RAs as a tool of environmental spatial planning (pdf)



CC BY-NC- SA 4.0



Video spot for public awareness





Report of the social opinion on roads (pdf)







Report of dissemination activities (pdf)



Financial report

Financial report (pdf) for actions and deliverables






International peer reviewed publication on fragmentation and RAs in Greece.






ROADLESS project website




Description: The dataset presents the roadless areas (RAs) of Greece (2/2020) in kmz format (Google Earth). RAs are defined as those land patches of a size greater than 1 that are at least 1 km away from the nearest road. The dataset pinpoints the 1.115 RAs, accounting for 4.99% of the Greek land. The map includes high and medium confidence data. Red polygons indicate the RAs with an area ≥50 (high confidence data). They cover 0.51% of the Greek land and are located in six remote mountains: Lefka Ori, Timfi, Olympos, Taygetos, Saos, and Smolikas. Orange polygons indicate the RAs with an area 1-50 and are of medium confidence, because their roads are not fully digitized.

International publications

Abstract: Land use change poses as the top threat for biodiversity decline, and road sprawl as a key driver behind it globally. According to the recent Landscape Fragmentation Indicator (LFI), Greece is less fragmented than the rest of Europe but presents higher rates of fragmentation increase. We developed the Roadless Fragmentation Indicator (RFI) to monitor fragmentation in more natural ecosystems. The RFI calculates the percentage of land that is covered by roadless areas (RAs), defined as land patches over 1 km2 that are over 1 km away from the nearest road. We produced the roadless map of Greece, concluding to 1115 RAs ranked by size (1–256 km2) and to a national RFI of less than 5%. The RFI reflected naturalness, was significantly higher in the Natura 2000 network, and was more sensitive in less fragmented zones. Six mountains (0.51% of Greek land) have remained largely roadless (RAs ≥ 50 km2) and should be protected as such. We call for a straightforward roadlessness policy under a “European Roadless Rule” that would legally protect at least 2% of European land as road-free area. We also call for no further unjustified road sprawl in more natural and least fragmented ecosystems, as a measure to be integrated in all sectors of EU policy and particularly in the spatial planning of development projects. We recommend a five-step roadlessness guideline to be implemented in the European Union, including Greece, as a measure to effectively address biodiversity decline.

Abstract: Balkan chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica) is a protected species with an Inadequate-Bad (U2) conservation status in Greece. Our study explores its seasonal range use pattern, demography and habitat selection in a site of the Natura 2000 network, Timfi Mountain. To this aim, we examined 1168 observations obtained from six seasonal surveys (2002: four seasons, 2014 and 2017: autumn) and performed an ecological-niche factor analysis (ENFA), using 16 environmental and human-disturbance variables. The species had an annual range of 6491 ha (25% of the study area), followed the typical range-use pattern, and presented the minimum core area during the rutting season (autumn). Timfi Mt hosted 469 individuals in 2017 (the largest population in Greece), increasing by 3.55 times since 2002. The species selected higher altitudes during summer and autumn, pinewoods over broad-leaved woods as winter grounds, and it avoided south-facing slopes. Our results supported the anthropogenic risk avoidance hypothesis; the species always selected remote areas away from roads, human settlements, and hunting grounds. In Greece, 40% of its distribution area falls within hunting ban areas (16.5% of the country). A national conservation policy is needed towards maintaining and increasing roadless areas and hunting-ban areas within Balkan chamois range nationwide.

Policy brief

Κατή, Β., Κασσάρα, Χ., Ψαραλέξη, Μ., Τζωρτζακάκη, Ο., Πετρίδου, Μ., Παπαϊωάννου, Χ., Γαλάνη, A. 2020. Οι Περιοχές Άνευ Δρόμων (ΠΑΔ) ως εργαλείο περιβαλλοντικού σχεδιασμού στην Ελλάδα. Πίνδος Περιβαλλοντική & Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων, Ιωάννινα, Ελλάδα: 10 σελ

Public awareness and research impact in society

Η έρευνά μας επί των Περιοχών Άνευ Δρόμων (ROADLESS) ως αντικείμενο συζήτησης στο Ελληνικό Κοινοβούλιο -11/6/2020

Τα αποτελέσματα της έρευνάς μας (ROADLESS) έγιναν αντικείμενο συζήτησης στο Ελληνικό Κοινοβούλιο για τη πιθανή θεσμοθέτηση των Περιοχών Άνευ Δρόμων. Βίντεο κοινοβουλευτικής συζήτησης:   Επίκαιρη

Read More »

Η έρευνα του BCL για την προστασία των περιοχών άνευ δρόμων σε επιστολή του SCB προς τον Frans Timmermans, Εκτελεστικό Αντιπρόεδρο της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής

Το Ευρωπαϊκό Τμήμα της Διεθνούς Εταιρείας Βιολογίας Διατήρησης (Society for Conservation Biology-European Section) απέστειλε επιστολή στον Εκτελεστικό Αντιπρόεδρο της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής Frans Timmermans. Η επιστολή

Read More »

Υποστήριξη των Περιοχών Άνευ Δρόμων και της αειφορικής χωροθέτησης των ΑΣΠΗΕ από την Ελληνική Ζωολογική Εταιρεία

Η Ελληνική Ζωολογική Εταιρεία υποστηρίζει τα αποτελέσματα των έργων ROADLESS και WIND  του Εργαστηρίου μας και των συναφών διεθνών δημοσιεύσεων ως βάση διαλόγου. Η απόφαση

Read More »

Η έρευνά μας επί των Περιοχών Άνευ Δρόμων (ROADLESS) ως αντικείμενο συζήτησης στο Ελληνικό Κοινοβούλιο -22/12/2020

Τα αποτελέσματα της έρευνάς μας (ROADLESS) έγιναν αντικείμενο συζήτησης στο Ελληνικό Κοινοβούλιο για τη πιθανή χρήση τους στην εθνική περιβαλλοντική πολιτική και στη θεσμική θωράκιση

Read More »

Media coverage

22/12/2020: Γ. ΛΙΑΛΙΟΣ. Καθημερινή. «Οι πολλοί δρόμοι βλάπτουν τη φύση».

24/1/2021. Β. ΑΓΓΕΛΗ. Typos-i.«Τα αιολικά πάρκα, ο «διχασμός» και μια πρόταση». 

25/12/2020: Ρέθεμνος. «Απειλή για το περιβάλλον η διάνοιξη δρόμων στα Λευκά Όρη». 

24/12/2020: Ηπειρωτικός Αγών. «Αντιστέκονται Τύμφη και Σμόλικας στην κατάτμηση από δρόμους». 

23/12/2020. Epirustvnews. «Κ.Αρσένης: Υπό Εξέταση Η Προστασία 6 Βουνών Της Ελλάδας Από Άναρχα Αιολικά Λόγω Της Σημασίας Τους Για Την Βιοποικιλότητα». 

23/12/2020. Β. ΑΓΓΕΛΗ. Typos-i. «Σμόλικας και Τύμφη: Δύο Περιοχές Άνευ Δρόμων». 

21/12/2020.  Messinia live. «Ο Ταΰγετος στα 6 βουνά που έχουν μείνει ανέπαφα από τη χάραξη δρόμων-Ερώτηση στη Βουλή για την προστασία του» 

21/12/2020. Kalamata Journal. «Να ανακηρυχθούν ο Ταΰγετος και άλλα πέντε βουνά ως περιοχές που δεν θα επιτρέπεται η διάνοιξη νέων δρόμων».