Thursday, 28 June 2007

Discussing with my neighbours...(*)

Buffalos Bubalus bubalis [family of Bovidae]

Water buffalos, buffalo-cows (Ali & Fahmy, 2007), Mediterranean Italian buffaloes (Presicce et. al., 2005) all Bubalus bubalis !

Buffalo plays a very important role in agriculture and animal production industry in many Asian and Mediterranean countries. Two main types of domestic buffalo are the river buffalo and the swamp buffalo. River buffalo live in a geographical belt from India in the east to Italy in the west, passing through Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia (Rosati & Van Vleck, 2002). The river buffalo is mainly reared for milk production. Jafarabadi and Murrah in India, Nili Ravi and Kundi in Pakistan, Beheri and Saidi in Egypt and Italian and Shumen in Europe are well known types of river buffalo (Rosati & Van Vleck, 2002 & Barros et al., 2007). According to Koonjaenak et al. (2007) river-type buffalos produce primarily milk and swamp-type buffalos produce meat.

The buffalo is the skeletal base of the Indian dairy industry as it contributes about 56.9% (50.74 million ton) of the countries and 66.2% of the world’s total buffalo milk production (FAO, 2004). According to scientific results on water buffalos, they are found in: Egypt (Ali & Fahmy, 2007 & Osman & Al-Gaabary, 2007), Italy (Tudisco et al., 2006 & Gasparrini, et. al., 2007), Thailand (Techakumphu et al., 2004 & Koonjaenak et al., 2007), China (Lu et al., 2006 & Yu et al., 2007), Japan (Hirayama et al., 2006), India (Meena & Das, 2006 & Dwivedi et al., 1997), Brazil (Gennari et al., 2005), Vietnam (Huong, 1999), Nepal (Heinen & Singh, 2001) and Philippines (Gundran & Simon, 1999). Translocated populations of buffalos (Bubalus bubalis) from Southeast Asia are found in Australia (Kanameda et al., 1999). Buffalos introduced in Australia affected a endangered rainforest palm and had a reverse effect (Liddle et al., 2006).

Buffalos are found also in Greece...

In Lake Prespa, situated between Albania, FYROM and Greece, buffalo grazing on the shores of the lake is beneficial both to man and to biodiveristy. By clearing off thick vegetation in the reed-beds, buffalos help create suitable areas for fish to spawn their eggs. This helps support high fish populations that sustain fishing activity but also for birds and animals higher up the food chain that depends on fish.
In Kerkini lake, situated in Macedonia Greece, buffalos are grazing along the plains of Strymon river. There, every summer (28/7) there is a celebration on water buffalos. In the framework of the Life – Nature Program "Conservation management of Amvrakikos Wetlands" LIFE 99 NAT/GR/006475, GR 2110001 for the protection and management of the wetlands of Ambrakikos gulf, the use of the water buffalos was suggested for the conservation of the reeds. That can be succeeded by putting the water buffalos out to grass. As the reeds of the wetlands nowadays are downgrading because of intensive agriculture, drainage, alteration of the hydrological regime, etc. However, the breeding of water buffalos can also restore a traditional cattle-farm that is abandoned the last decades. In the Amvrakikos wetland, in an area of 50 sq km (position: Parasta – village: Strogyli – Municipality: Amvrakikos) water buffalos are introduced for scientific reasons in order for scientists to conclude on the use of them for the management of reeds.

Buffalos in the Strymon river plains. A bike excursion along the river was organized by Ioannis Reklos ( during EC Youth Programme, Action 1 - Youth Exchange ‘Culture & Biodiversity: paths without frontiers’, Prefectures of Kilkis & Serres, Greece (2-10 September 2006). Photo is a courtesy of MIO-ECSDE (Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development -

(*) Biosfera Bitola (

More info:
Ali & Fahmy, 2007. Theriogenology, Vol. 68, 1, 23-28 pp.
Barros et al., 2007. Veterinary Microbiology, Vol. 120, 1-2, 50-62pp.
Dwivedi et al., 1997. Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 207, 2-3, 105-109pp.
Gasparrini et al., 2007. Animal Reproduction Science, Vol. 98, 3-4, 335-342pp.
Gennari et al., 2005. Veterinary Parasitology, Vol. 134, 1-2, 169-171pp.
Gundran & Simon, 1999. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 40, 2, 87-100pp.
Heinen & Singh, 2001. Biological Conservation, Vol. 101, 3, 391-394 pp.
Hirayama et al., 2006. Theriogenology, Vol. 66, 5, 1249-1256pp.
Huong, 1999. Veterinary Parasitology, Vol. 86, 1, 33-39pp.
Kanameda et al., 1999. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 39, 2, 129-135pp.
Koonjaenak et al., 2007. Theriogenology, Vol. 67, 9, 1424-1435 pp.
Liddle et al., 2006. Biological Conservation, Vol. 132, 3, 362-375pp.
Lu et al., 2006. Animal Reproduction Science, Vol. 95, 1-2, 158-164pp.
Meena et al., 2006. Animal Reproduction Science, Vol. 93, 3-4, 258-267pp.
Osman & Al-Gaabary, 2007. Veterinary Parasitology, Vol.146, 3-4, 337-340pp.
Presicce et al., 2005. Theriogenology, Vol. 63, 5, 1430-1439pp.
Rosati & Van Vleck, 2002. Livestock Production Science, Vol. 74, 2, 185-190pp.
Techakumphu et al., 2004. Theriogenology, Vol. 61, 9, 1705-1711pp.
Tudisco et al., 2006. Livestock Science, Vol. 105, 1-3, 12-18pp.
Yu et al., 2007. Veterinary Parasitology, Vol. 143, 1, 79-85pp.
About Greece:
ETANAM – Development Agency of Amvrakikos North Hpirus
MedWet - The Mediterranean Initiative of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Rodia Wetlands Center

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Wednesday, 13 June 2007 Athens Concert Hall / Greece

AL GORE, former United States Vice President, gave a lecture on the major ecological issue of the climate crisis. The event was organised by Megaron Plus in cooperation with ECOWEEK 2007 (more on

Al Gore, had renewed most of the info / photos and diagrams contained in his film with data from 2005 and 2006. What was extra pointed out?

- he made a comment: on the money being spent in the war of Iraq……on the time media devote on the problems nature is facing in comparison with Ann Nicole Smith's funeral arrangements…
- he included in his lecture 2 pictures from a Greek place: Chanioti Halkidikis, one showing the disasters on the shore because of a summer storm that created surging flood waters and the other people standing on the shore while the pine forest was burnt (August 2006).
- he ended up saying that for Greece ‘political will is a renewable resource’!

Al Gore's oscar winning documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth" on