We just started the work for the newest guide on Divjaka-Karavasta National Park thanks to the support of GEF/SGP, Those are just the first pictures while other will come in the next weeks and months. We believe that ecotourism and conservation of habitats and species is the best sustainable future for the National Park.
Shkodra lake and Thethi, two areas so similar and so different. When taking a birdwatching boat in Shkodra lake people remain impressed by the contrast of blu-green water, green riparian vegetation and grey shadowy mountains as a background. People wonder what happens there. In the moment you cross the QafeThore pass, you face the beauty of Thethi and Jezerca, the highest peak of the Dinaric Alps. The Alps and Shkodra compose one ecosystem that goes down quite naturally from the mountains towards the Adriatic sea. Birdwatching here offers very different pictures. A lot of water birds in Shkodra Lake while a lot of songbirds in Theth. We were there, during the last weekend, with Slovak and German birdwatching colleagues and tourist. With best impressions!
Some three years ago, we just started making the tour operators and tourism agencies interested in developing birdwatching as potential ecotourism activity in Albania. Following our common efforts, together with our patners RISIAlbania and Partners Albania for Change and Development, the first devoted birdwatchers came in 2015 in Divjaka-Karavasta, Narta and Valbona. Nowadays the map of the visited birdwatching areas has drastically increased. Tours are being developed also in Shkodra lake, Buna-Velipoja, Theth and Vermosh, Koman, Prespa and Butrint. Just in three years the number of visited sites had increased from 3 to 11. Meanwhile the number of visitors is more than impressive. Some 4000 foreign visitors come for bird watching in Albania with Divjaka-Karavasta National Park being by far the most visited site. Yet, this type of ecoturism has to know greater potentials. We are continuing to cooperate with tour operators to spread it all over Albania as a contribution to the sustainable local livelihood.
We are already at the beginning of the North-South Bird Migration Season, from their nesting habitats to the wintering ones. As for the last years, this season finds us again in the field, for bird banding and for collecting further evidence on reedbeds, those habitats limited in number and surface despite their enormous importance for the survival of thousands of migratory birds. During last week, together with colleagues from Lake Kolon Bird Bandig Station, we visited all the coastal reedbeds and stopped for bird banding in some of them. This visit precedes our bird banding camp that we are going to organize in October 2017, in a simultaneous effort in four reedbeds of the country. But let us enjoy first our new findings for this bird banding season
Shorebirds otherwise called waders, are all those feeding in shallow water muddy bodies searching for small animals as crabs, mussels, worms etc.
About 50% of the shorebirds in the world are declining and vital habitat is losing at a higher rate than ever. Healthy populations of shorebirds depend heavily on healthy wetlands, as well as thousands of human lives around the world. Therefore, action on a global scale action needs to help protect habitats and shorebirds from factors related to human activities.
Convinced of the urgent need to raise public awareness around the world on the situation of these endangered birds and the need for conservation, World Shorebirds Day was established. This celebration on a global scale was joined by our organization with several monitoring, counting and research activities in 3 main points at Divjaka Karavasta National Park and at Tale- Estuary of Mat river.
This day more than 40 waterbird species were observed, over 1000 individuals and 14 shorebird species including Dunlin (Calidris alpina), Curlew Sandpiper (C. ferruginea), Little Stint (C. minuta), Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Little Ringed Plover (C. dubius), Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus), Curlew (Numenius arquata) etc.
This activity brings to the center of attention the urgent need to protect more than ever the Divjaka Karavasta National Park, from the urbanization and transformation of habitats from Mega Resorts.
Relationship Individual - Shorebirds- Habitat is a necessity in the case of the Karavasta Divjake National Park.