Greek island is in crisis because there are too many ... goats

The Greek island of Samothraki has about 3,000 inhabitants, but as many as 50,000 goats. This disparity also somewhat tells a picture on th...


The Greek island of Samothraki has about 3,000 inhabitants, but as many as 50,000 goats. This disparity also somewhat tells a picture on the island: Fallen forests!


Photo of September 8, 1919, showing goats walking on a road near the village of Kato Meria on Samothraki Island - Screenshot AP

Covered with oak forests and chestnut trees, Samothraki Island has a wild beauty and is isolated from other Greek islands. No bundled vacations here. Even it has no reliable transport services to the mainland.
The Samothraki government hopes the island will be awarded the World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. However, the Associated Press news agency on October 6 said the natural environment here is threatened by a "greedy attacker": the goats.

The number of goats on Samothraki is 15 times more than the island population. Goats appear everywhere, eating bare trees, eating without leaving anything. Many green areas are now "bare" because of these 4-legged "residents".

Goats batter all over the island. They are found in bushes, even on rooftops or in cars when traveling around for food. Excessive grazing is causing crisis-level soil erosion, according to the Associated Press.

Two years ago, heavy rain followed by landslides that caused walls to collapse, flooding the town's town hall and damaging many roads. The situation of bare land and bare hills has caused such serious landslides.

"There are no big trees to hold onto the soil. The problem is very serious because the mud will fall on our heads." Mr. George Maskalidis, who now runs the environmental group Sustainable Samothraki Association (SSA), shared.


Goats looking for food at Samothraki in a September photo - AP screenshot

Samothraki Island is located in the Aegean Sea, accessible by boat when traveling about 2 hours from the south of Alexandroupoli. It is a Greek city located near the border with Turkey.

With only 3,000 people living and inaccessible, the island is not caught in the whirlpool of a tourist boom in Greece. Grazing is still a popular way to make a living here.


Samothraki Island (red dot on the map) isolated from the mainland and other islands of Greece - Screenshot

The number of goats on the island has increased five-fold, reaching 75,000 in the late 1990s. Although the number of goats has fallen to less than 50,000 today, the island has not escaped the fate of being "munched" more and more. bald.

Most goats are malnourished and too skinny, not qualified to sell meat. At the same time, the price of leather, milk ... decreased.
Buying food to sustain the livestock industry is too expensive for many people.

"Most of us are willing to give up. If I have another job, I'll give up the goats right away!" - Mr. Yiannis Vavouras, a goat farmer on the island, shared.

Over the past three decades, the Samothraki island government has struggled to find a consensus among the locals to resolve the issue.

Facing alarm erosion, experts and locals are working together to find a solution to save the ecosystem and economy of this island in northeastern Greece.



Photo of 7-9-2019 shows goats and sheep searching for food near the beach in the village of Kipos on Samothraki Island - Screenshot AP


A goat standing on a beach in Kipos in September photo - AP screenshot


A chef prepares dishes made from goat meat on Samothraki island - Screenshot AP


Chora village on Samothraki island - AP screenshot

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High Tech Brain: Greek island is in crisis because there are too many ... goats
Greek island is in crisis because there are too many ... goats
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