Purpose of the station
Our goal is for the station to function as a year round base for the monitoring programs of our Kalamos and Kastos sustainable development program including the volunteers participating in our activities through our field volunteer program ,researchers and related field practitioners working in various projects in Kalamos and the surrounding marine and terrestrial region.The station is also here to function as an educational and discussion center promoting awareness towards protection of ecosystems and the environment and in finding solutions to various related issues.It is also a point of hospitality for our ecotourist services guests wishing to enjoy the nature our region has.
Thematic areas where work is either done or could potentially be done
· Sustainable agriculture and agroforestry
· Forest ecosystem Restoration
· Restoration of agricultural diversity
· Restoration of marine ecosystems
· Sustainable fisheries management
· Anthropogenic impacts on marine and terrestrial ecosystems
· Anthropogenic pollution measurement and reduction
· Wildlife monitoring and management
· Ecosystem monitoring
· Land use rights
· Marine tenure
· The economics of sustainable development
· Rights of use of natural resources
· Biocontrol of introduced species
· Social justice and related issues in natural resource management and sustainable development
· Applied animal and plant biological conservation
· Modeling of biological populations
· Marine ecology
Our biological field station is situated in Kalamos Island in Greece in the outskirts of the main village of the island called Kalamos. Kalamos Island is situated in the core of the fifth largest marine protected area in Greece and one of the largest in the Mediterranean, the inner Ionian Archipelago Natura 2000 conservation area .The area is an important biological conservation area and one of the last strongholds of the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal. On land we have a wide variety of unspoilt habitats including agricultural land and native forest in various stages of regeneration. The island of Kalamos itself has been so far proven to be the botanical diversity hotspot for all the ionian islands.The islands of the area are considered a prime habitat for many species of birds including many migratory and threatened ones. Birdlife international has declared them as one of the 186 areas that are important for the birds of Greece worthy of official protection status.
Kalamos Island where the biological field station is located in Western Greece in relation to the inner Ionian archipelago Marine protected area (blue).
The station is housed in the same building as the offices of Terra Sylvestris. The current capacity of the station is up to 14 guests at any single point in time . There are two options for staying with us: either in a in a mixed dorm room of a total capacity of 14 beds or to camp in our camping site in the area of the field station which has a total capacity of 5 tents of 2 people.We have an agreement for access to further facilities of equal standards if the station itself cannot cater for you due to overcapacity at any point in time. People booking will be notified and given all relevant information about the space available in this case.
Living and work facilities
Two(2) spacious self catering kitchens are available for all guests at the station, high speed wireless internet ,three separate (3)toilet and shower facilities are available. Access to a laundry machine and an area for drying clothes is available at no extra fee.We have warm and cold water and electricity 24/7 .There is fan type air conditioning for the summer and heating for the winter(stove and fireplace where we provide the wood at no additional cost to users) available . We also have computers that you can use.The field station also has an internal living room and sitting area.We also have a library that has an ever growing collection of ecology and environmental science books as well as other titles of general interest .A large external sitting area is available at the field station with a roof and hammocks.We also have a tool shed with equipment such as handyman tools and other kinds of equipment that people can also use(e.g. GPS devices, microscopes).
Selected photos of the biological field station facilities
We occasionally have produce from our own organic farm and donations from the community but this is highly erratic and on a daily basis, residents at the station other than ecotourist guests have to plan to cater for themselves either individually or in groups agreed between themselves using the kitchen facilities of the station if the latter is the case.Ecotourist guests receive standard continental breakfast buffet services but only in compensation for other services of other users of the station(Field volunteers, researchers and conservation practicioners such as nature photographers).The village of Kalamos has many shops ,local restaurants and caffes where food can be purchased.The nearby port town of Mytikas has additional markets, super markets , shops ,Caffe's and restaurants. Daily ferry services to to and from Mytikas exist with a total trip of half hour one way. For large groups(5 people or more) a food catering service which can include one to three meals a day can be arranged at a cost . For more information on this option please contact us.See the fee table at the end of this page for more information on this.
We have an dry biological field laboratory for use in research and monitoring projects. This can cater up to 10 researchers at a time. Digital microscope and other related facilities such as refrigeration are available where several kinds of biological investigations such as botanical and insect identification can take place.The space can also be used for events or other rellevant functions.
Marine protected area:The Inner Ionian archipelago marine protected area surrounds Kalamos from all sides, access to the edge of the area is by public road and cars are available for hire that can take you throughout most of the island.Boats are available for hire if you wish to conduct your own project beyond what you can access by land next to the coast directly .Some of the marine protected area can also be access via land from the mainland also.
Terrestrial: Field work is practical to do in both Kalamos, Kastos the surrounding islands and a part of the mainland. In the islands we have direct access to several habitats both agricultural and non such as forest or scrub. We have lands that are our own (including our experimental vegetable and fruit farm around the field station where our crops range from mangoes to lemons and cabbage to tomato including trials of many different agricultural plant species and varieties and farming methods) and access to forest, scrub, grassland agricultural land that belong to other landowners with whom we have agreement with .
Logistics: If you are interested in conducting your research or any form of conservation related work such as nature photography with us you need to apply for this via our field volunteer program. An outside researcher or field practitioner is deemed to be a field volunteer with us working on a non pre- arranged activity in one of our thematic areas and in the sense that we agreed on work we feel should take place with our support and we are co-responsible.This includes dissertation and thesis projects. Have a look at our field volunteer program for more and for applying to do your work.
Selected photos and videos of habitat and species of our islands
*PLEASE NOTE: Some activities require a government licence in addition to land owner authorization in the case of land based projects, that neither us or you may have and need to be issued first prior to conducting any activities.If you are interested to explore this option please contact us to discuss further on this. All field volunteers working in our pre-arranged activities dont pay for transport expenses.
Administration and Staff
The station director is Ted Karfakis (Bsc, Msc, PhD), an ecologist with many years of experience working in the field of biological conservation, ecology and related issues worldwide.The station is also permanently staffed by a regular team composed of another member of the organization and local volunteers . We speak Greek, English, Spanish and Portuguese.There is always staff resident at the station when there are any form of users including residents there also. The station operates on a year round basis including holidays.
Sellection of international literature pieces
Karfakis T & Karfaki G.N. (2018) Setting priorities for addressing community historical rights and conserving biodiversity in the Inner Ionian Marine Protected Area,Greece, Biodiversity DOI: 10.1080/14888386.2018.1478750 (article can be downloaded at the top of this page in english)
Karfakis, T.(2015).Closing a gap in ecology and biodiversity conservation: the case of Kalamos island biological field station in the Northern Ionian, Greece. 17th Hellenic Forestry Conference ,Argostoli, Kefalonia ,October 4th-7th :925-934 (Poster and article can be downloaded at the top of this page,article is in Greek with abstract in English)
Karfakis T.(2015).The Kalamos and Kastos islands sustainable development project: A private conservation initiative in the heart of the inner Ionian Marine protected area ,Greece. Peer reviewed Proceedings of the International Symposium ‘Marine Protected Areas in Greece and the Mediterranean: Designing for the Future by Applying Lessons Learnt from the Past’ Management Agency of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.(poster and article at the top of this page)
Year 2023 Basic Fee table for external projects and visitors
*Varies from project to project and therefore subject to independent individual agreement for outside projects. Researchers and field practitioners are subject to the same terms and conditions of stay and work as field volunteers .An outside researcher or field practitioner using the station facilities and other resources and conducting work in the area is deemed to be a field volunteer with us working on a non pre- arranged activity in one of our thematic areas and in the sense that we agreed on work we feel should take place with our support and we are co-responsible.All field volunteers working in our pre-arranged activities dont pay for transport expenses and related program consumables .This may or may not be the case for stand alone and/or external projects of any kind in one of our thematic areas of work. Have a look at our field volunteer program for more information and for applying to do your work.
** A food catering service is available at an additional cost for large groups (5 people or more), please contact us for further details
# Ecotourists guests receive full continental breakfast , 24/7 reception ,free tourist information facility and an ecotour booking facility instead of support
For more information with respect to the field station, please see the information guide at the top of this page