In “election periods” some living organisms tend to leave and new others come. But the Dalmatian Pelican of Divjaka stays forever stoically. It has been there and it will be there again. Even more due to the efforts undertaken for its conservation measures. Year 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Nb. of nests 37, 46, 52, 52 Nb. of fledglings 21, 48, 57, 55 Breeding success 0,6 1,04 1,10 1,06 This year, the colony of 52 breeding pairs reared 55 fledglings that now fly all over the lagoon. Some of them have left now for Narta. Perhaps even further! It is real pleasure to see them all together!
Many people think that “the drone” is an exquisite toy of photography, documentary or cinema that brings to humans images that were so far a monopole for only the birds, insects and the flying objects. Today, the drones are often used for aerial images of cities, natural ecosystems etc. But the drones could offer much more than that. After our first visits in the heronry of Divjaka, we tried to find other new paths of exploring the colony again. With two goals: (i) reducing human disturbance at the colony and (ii) avoiding the outnumbered field difficulties in exploring such a colony in particular where the explorers needed to cross kilometers of deep ditches, dense shrubs, bramble-bushes, hollows of mud and water as well as storms of insects that sting all the time. The drone accomplished our goals! We used it to first localize the colony, explore its boundaries, composition and its abundance. Now the colony, with hundreds nests of Little Egrets, Pygmy Cormorants, Night Herons and Squacco Herons, remains quiet in the northern part of Divjaka National Park. Where nobody disturbs it nowadays! Many thanks to the Administration of Protected Areas - Fieri Region and the staff of Divjaka-Karavasta National Park! Thanks for the wonderful work!
We trust a lot that all dimesions of biodiversity are important and vital and that the efforts to conserve fauna and flora are not in sufficient to halt the dispiriting trends of species and population losses in recent decades. This trend is heightened by the pressure that mass tourism puts on already unstable local resources, as the largest threats for the future of those destinations. But it does not end there, the scheme of “Strategic Investment’ and the model of “Sustainable Development” serve to cover up “Mega Resorts” which decide on fate of key biodiversity areas. Indeed, “Sustainable Tourism” is built from the root of the host community. It means to use properly environmental resources and help conserve natural heritage, biodiversity and respect socio-cultural authenticity of host communities. Bold and carried approaches are necessary to conserve what remains of Earth’s biodiversity, therefore, conserving fauna and flora requires protection of landscapes, diversity of species and ecosystems as a whole. For these reasons , we believe that fauna and flora with their unique socio-economic and cultural values and ability to harness public support combined with a firm political commitment, much more can be done in terms of preserving these lands. “This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” Martin Luter King
The field work for A New European Breeding Bird Atlas - EBBA2 in Albania rediscovers the Rose-colored Starling (Pastor roseus). The black wings, the rose-colored body, the black head and the rose beak show off as a perfection of nature and as a dream come true for every birdwatcher or friend of nature. Some people make that dream true and some others do not. We were very lucky enough to discover the species in two different locations. Look at the field images of this erratic or “bohemian” bird reconfirmed after so many years in Albania. We are proud of this finding. An old wisdom says: “Fortune favors the bold!” :-)
Vjosa river is for AOS not just one of the rivers of Albania. For about one week, Vjosa was our field home where together with Slovenian colleagues we explored in details, from Permet to Narta, the birds of the river and the Vjosa valley. Field observations lasting more than 14 hours per day (5 am-9 pm) included the river bed and the streams furnishing it. Field work combined bird identification through watching, hearing and bird banding, education on bird study methods and filming for a documentary on the necessity of protecting and keeping this ecosystem untouched from hydropower dams. Now, Vjosa river is not just a river for us! It is without any doubt a mesmerizing place, a very rich river valley where we observed about 120 species of birds, a wetland ecosystem that keeps surprising us with its unbelievable richness. Vjosa, our home, should be kept untouched from hydropower dams!
While the summer and the heat start to empty the streets of the city, in our coastal wetlands, where the sun burns even more, life has started to bloom again. This time with hundreds and thousands of nesting birds that use islands surrounded by water, islands of sand of trees, to build the nests and rear the chicks with food gathered in the surroundings. Despite the heat, our work on the Atlas of Breeding Birds goes on in full speed. Because this would be an important contribution for nature conservation in Albania that will serve for the identification of rare and threatened species, assessment of Important Bird Areas as well as Species and Areas of Conservation Priority.
"CONNECTING PEOPLE TO NATURE"!
There is a surprising number of people, businesses and communities that would like to do more to preserve and protect our natural resources. But part of them lack the knowhow on where to start to become environment friendly.
Getting acquainted with environmentalism and environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement that is closely related to concerns about environmental protection and the improvement of public health. At this point is it of utmost importance learning the process of changing the world, preserving natural resources and how to get started to make the difference.
As the World Environment Day marks the effort to balance the relationship between people and different natural systems, We appeal to you to join forces against destructive, environmentally-hostile initiatives and encourage you to appreciate the natural beauties and to think of yourselves as part of the environment and closely associated with it.
We make our appeal by introducing a publicity spot realized in the framework of the project "Development of Natural Tourism (Birdwatching, Flowering and Butterfly) in Shkodra Region", supported by RisiAlbania, and by thinking that when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change, or over-exploitation, we are the ones bearing the consequences.
The spot promotes and reflects the model of sustainable development of natural tourism, as well as the inclusion of birdwatching, butterfly and flowers watching as part of a new tourism product in Albania. As initiators of alternative forms of tourism in Albania, AOS invites you to follow the video, which delivers the message on 'Conservation and recovery of habitats, ecosystems and important areas for birds and biodiversity as a whole'.
The spot is at the same time, a strong call for conservation and improvement of the human environment as an important issue affecting the country's well-being and economic development. Based on this background, the Coalition for the Protection of National Park Divjaka - Karavasta will not halt until the “Divjaka Resort Albania” of Mabetex Group project is cancelled.
What to expect from Tropoja? Mountains, clean river, lakes, forests, meadows, green vegetation, snow at the mountains’ tops, bird songs in the morning. Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Warblers, Nightingales, Thrushes, Buntings, Doves, Plovers, Tits, Dippers, Hoopoes, Wagtails, Cuckoos, Swallows, Golden Eagle, Honey Buzzards, Kestrels etc. We have mapped the birds in transects covering all habitats and we are glad with the results of our work for EBBA 2!