February 6, 2023

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Greece is full of stray dogs: 70,000 abandoned in the mountains and 3 million in the whole country.

A major threat to biodiversity Theodoros Kominos, PhD in Zoology and Department of Zoology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, go astray – Abandoned Dogs 3 million in total and 60,000 to 70,000 and live in the hills. “These are mainly sheep dogs and hunting dogs” explains why wolves and jackals have proliferated and what is happening to wild boars at the same time.

Theodoros Kominos has been actively involved with wild nature for about 40 years and has been able to place cameras in at least 2,000 locations throughout our country to record animals migrating from northern Greece to Crete.

“This is a work I started on my own to use technology to study certain species of animals that, due to their nature, cannot be seen and moved mainly at night. The camera is a common method that has evolved over the last 10 years. We believe it is best to observe and record these species and their activity, their presence and their behavior. say” Speaking to NewsBeast, Theodoros Kominos, zoologist and PhD candidate at AUTH’s Department of Zoology, insists.

“When I started reading the data, I realized there were thousands of stray – abandoned dogs in the mountains”

“In general research I used cameras that record everything. Motion-driven machines. They see everything in front of them. Mainly these recorded some species of mainly amphibians like wolves and jackals. In this context, the cameras also “saw” the dogs. At one point when I started sending the data to the site it was In fact, I found a lot. In that record, I found 60,000 to 70,000 dogs abandoned in the mountains,” he asserts.

Referring to the abandoned dogs in the country’s mountains, Theodoros Kominos notes that these are mainly Sheepdogs And Hunting dogs. “He also has strays like cocoons. These live in groups with other dogs, we see them roaming in cities and towns, however, I have seen them in places far from villages, settlements, human activities,” adds, “Well, how do they live?”

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A zoologist and PhD candidate in AUTH’s Department of Zoology says he has 130 cameras and some of them 2 to 2.5 years permanent base and replace batteries and covers in some areas. These cameras record all the times going forward.

There is a camera that has recorded 2,000 dogs. All this is not abandoned. Many come with hunters or herds or domestic animals. “Not all are misguided,” he notes.

“They live in a wild state, act like wolves, and kill for food”

Speaking to NewsBeast, Theodoros Kominos, who wants to make it clear that stray dogs in the city – are not the same as stray dogs abandoned in the mountains, clarifies: “Those who live in the mountains have a big difference from the stray dogs in the city. Depending on humans, from the garbage he throws. Many strays of the mountain live in a wild state. They live far away from humans, no one provides them with food, so they hunt. In other words, they have reverted to some wild situation. They kill animals for food. They have changed their character and become one with the environment they live in.”

«The mountains run like stray wolves, they are mainly herds” He says characteristically and adds: “During the summer I recorded two near a lake wild boar When a pack of dogs attacked them. The big dogs went first. They tried to chase away the wild boars. Among them were six dogs and cocoons waiting on the edge to see what would happen and what the adults would do. Dogs have a hierarchy, a social structure that works much like wolves.”

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Theodoros Kominos
Theodoros Kominos

So wrong – where are the abandoned dogs?

Most stray – abandoned dogs are found in the Peloponnese, Idolokernania and Epirus. However, throughout western Greece, there are many dogs that roam the mountains.

According to zoologist Theodoros Kominos, areas with high numbers of stray dogs have intensive animal husbandry operations. “The way the units are, it helps that there are a lot of strays, a lot of wolves and jackals, from the sad atmosphere around the stables. No one thinks that the barns have become a garbage dump, dogs, wild boars and jackals go outside for food. It’s a vicious circle that has its basis in the human factor,” he explains. .

“The Greeks had no intellectual culture with animals and never could have”

Emphasizing that the problem starts with humans, the PhD candidate of AUTH’s Department of Zoology tells us: “The Greeks did not have any spiritual culture with animals and never will have. The shepherds keep the dogs free around the corrals where they constantly give birth and multiply. Kilometers away from villages I saw mothers with small dogs, “How do they live?”. The answer, of course, is that she killed something so that her child could grow.

“Hunters cry out, ‘Wolves eat our dogs.’ Of course they do, because they see them as competition but also as food.

We say jackals and wolves have increased but not dogs. “I’ve registered 60,000 to 70,000 dogs and 500 wolves, and instead of talking about dogs, we’re talking about wolves,” he explains.

“The situation of strays in our country is tragic, you can see it from the numbers”

Dogs create a lot of stress on animals, Theodoros Kominos reports in general and says: “The presence of many abandoned – stray dogs in the mountains of Greece disturbs the balance of nature. Wolves see dogs as competition They are in his area and develop wild traits to survive rather than if they lived in a more peaceful environment.

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“The situation of stray dogs in our country in general is sad, as can be seen from the data. In our country they are estimated at 3 million, for example in India with 1.4 billion people they are estimated at 20 million,” he notes.

«To me the dog issue is one of the biggest threats to biodiversity. If you see what is happening in the waters, in Amvrakikos, in Messalongi, you will not believe it. I have recorded dog attacks on tern nesting sites and roosts» he adds.

What about wolves and foxes? – Why did they increase?

Theodoros Kominos, zoologist and PhD candidate at AUTH’s Department of Zoology, talks to us about the increase in the population of wolves and jackals, and explains how this relates to the increase in pigs.

“Especially in the countryside there’s a terrible situation. Everyone goes and throws anything they can imagine. I’ve recorded some wolves near Thessaloniki going and eating dog food,” he notes.

“The movement of wild boar has increased as a result of the period when everyone wanted to eat the black pig and had fun. This led to an increase in unrestrained wild boars, which subsequently increased inbreeding and population growth. “This has resulted in an increase in wolves hunting them and an increase in the number of foxes feeding on the remains,” he asserts in closing.