Space Shuttle over Pindos, NASA Image
The Pindus (or Pindos) (Greek: Πίνδος, Aromanian: Pind) mountain range is located in northern Greece, roughly 160 km (100 miles) long, with a maximum elevation of 2637 m (8650 ft). Because it runs along the border of Thessaly and Epirus.the Pindus range is often called the "spine of Greece".
The Pindus ecoregion covers a wide range of elevations and habitats, including deep canyons and steep mountains. The wide range in altitudes in this ecoregion results in two major forest zones. A conifer zone, with trees such as a subspecies of Austrian Pine and the endemic Greek fir, characterizes the highest elevations. High in the mountains near the timberline, juniper woodlands take over the landscape. In the valleys and canyons of the middle and lower elevations, mixed broadleaf forests dominate. These forests have an amazing diversity of oak species.In pindus there are very baetiful villages, one of them is Samarina the highest village in balkain.
In the beautiful mountain lakes of the Pindus Mountain Conifer and Broadleaf Mixed Forests ecoregion, large breeding colonies of herons, spoonbills, egrets, and pelicans fish the cool waters. This is one of only a few areas in Europe to find the rare Dalmatian pelican. In these mountains, wolves patrol the forests in search of prey. At dusk, the howling of jackals can be heard as they prepare for their nightly hunt. Massive brown bears dig their dens on the hillsides in preparation for the cold, snowy winters.
Cause for Concern
The forests of this ecoregion have faced many threats over the course of human history, including heavy livestock grazing, agriculture, and firewood collecting. The human impact in this ecoregion remains high today, although the greatest threats now come from the development of mountain tourism and ski facilities. Because of the instability of the soil on steep mountains, road building and clear-cutting operations have led to dangerous landslides and the collapse of steep mountain slopes. Mining for bauxite, overgrazing, and over-collecting of plants are also threatening the great biodiversity of this ecoregion.
Wider geographical context
The Pindus range is the southern part of a large arc of mountain ranges spanning southeastwards from the Alps, via the Dinaric Alps, and includes the Šar-Korab massive, Pindus, Parnassos, Chelmos and the rest of Peloponessus, having its southern extreme in Mount Taygetos. The cordillera system then continues by way of the southern Aegean islands of Kythera, Antikythera, Crete, Karpathos and Rhodes, as well as many islets around the larger islands. The mountain system comes ashore again at the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey.
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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