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Your donation can help us continue offering our support and expertise to various conservation issues.


You can contribute your time, skills and knowledge through volunteering with the AOS.

Saving Birds

Now is your chance to protect our birds, our nature and our environment.

© Eno Gace Pelikani Kacurrel, Dalmatian Pelican, Pelecanus crispus

Bird Conservation

AOS has extensive experience in bird conservation. Due to conservation efforts proposed and implemented by AOS staff and the Regional Administration for Protected Areas, the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) colony in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park has increased from 31 breeding pairs in 2013 to 81 breeding pairs in 2021.
Conservation measures applied for the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) and Little Tern (Sternula albifrons), have almost tripled the number of breeding pairs of both species in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park.
Besides the above species, AOS is implementing conservation programs for the White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) etc.

Bird Crime

Insights on the bird crime situation in Albania

Illegal killing & trapping of birds using illegal methods, such as decoys, electronic calling devices, and mist nests is one of the biggest problems that birds in Albania are facing nowadays. These methods lead to large-scale killing of about 265 000 of birds every year (Brochet et al., 2016), ranking Albania in the top ten countries in the Mediterranean region with the worst records.

The most affected species by poaching activities are the Common quail (Coturnix coturnix) which suffers the pressure of electronic calling devices. The Rock partridge (Alectoris graeca) has also experienced significant decline in its breeding population in recent years. Another group of species affected by poaching activities are songbirds which are caught with mist nests and illegally traded on the black market or trafficked outside Albania, mainly in the border countries Greece, Kosovo, etc.

Another significant threat to the populations of birds in Albania, especially to vultures and other birds of prey, is the use of poison baits against wildlife. The data on bird poisoning and wildlife poisoning in general is very limited due to lack of control of the territory for poisoning cases, and lack of capacities and knowledge from state authorities to properly investigate poisoning incidents.

Our surveys in rural and livestock areas throughout Albania show that poison baits are used wherever there is a human-wildlife conflict, sometimes even in cases where there is some conflict between humans (poisoning of neighbor’s dog/cat). From a total of 204 interviews conducted with shepherds, livestock breeders, farmers, etc. 12% of respondents confirm the use of poison baits, and 18% claim to be aware of this method but they don’t use it themselves because of the fear of poisoning their own dogs. In the AOS database, there are about 50 poisoning incidents and more than 120 poisoned animals, from which 10 cases (or 20% of cases) are poisoning incidents involving wild animals.

What does AOS do to combat bird crime?

In order to combat bird crime our work is focused on:

- Systematic monitoring in some of the areas with the highest levels of poaching activities in Albania, such as the Semani river outlet, Tërbufi plain, and Tirana district :

- Joint monitoring with state authorities for poaching activities in the territory of Albania;

- Lobbying for the improvement of the legal framework related to wildlife and environment protection; for the enforcement of the applicable laws; for the effective investigation and prosecution of bird crime and wildlife crime in general;

- Awareness-raising campaigns tackling bird & wildlife crime in Albania.

Our work is also supported by volunteers. Two anti-poaching groups are established – one of them is a local group operating in pilot areas, Tërbufi plain and Semani river outlet; the other group is a network of volunteers which contribute with different tasks, such as field patrolling, monitoring of social media for poaching activities, monitoring of pet shops for illegal trading of songbirds, etc.

© Erald Xeka
© Erald Xeka

Bird Research & Monitoring

AOS is the scientific official source for the International Waterbird Census in Albania, European Breeding Bird Atlas 2, National Red List of Birds, Protected Bird Species, IBAs in Albania etc.

Our team is coordinating the International Waterbird Census in Albania. The results of IWC are published every year (see AOS webpage for IWC reports of 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021). The data of this monitoring program are also published by Wetland International.

AOS is a National Coordinator of the European Bird Census Council (EBCC) and such has contributed with data collection and processing on the distribution and the abundance of the breeding population in the country in frame of the European Breeding Bird Atlas.

AOS coordinates and is part of two international initiatives – EuroBirdwatch and World Migratory Bird Day (Global Birding) which are focused not only in awareness-raising but also in monitoring of the situation of bird populations within the timeframe these activities are undertaken.

Our staff is continuously supporting the Ministry of Tourism and Environment in its reporting for AEWA, CMS, Ramsar Convention, Bern Convention etc. Furthermore, AOS is the official scientific source of the Ministry for National Red List of Bird Species and Protected Bird Species.

Bird Ringing

AOS, on its position as the Albanian Bird Ringing Scheme since 2020, is the official representative of EURING in Albania. Since 2015, we are engaged with international counterparts in a bird ringing program aiming to assess the importance of Albanian reedbeds as important sites for breeding, wintering and migrating birds.

Normally bird ringing within each country is organized by a National Ringing Scheme. In Europe the bird ringing programs are grouped in EURING which is the coordinating organization for European bird ringing schemes.

AOS or the Albanian Bird Ringing Scheme is only national coordinator of this bird ringing scheme since 2019 in Albania. The responsibilities of the bird ringing scheme:

• Develop Bird Ringing Programs in the country;

• Build a national database for ringed birds;

• Report the bird recoveries;

• Licensing and training of young Bird Ringers;

To report a ringed bird from any scheme you can use the EURING web reporting form available here, or you can find here the reporting form offered from Albanian Bird Ringing Scheme.

Bird Policy

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Important Bird Areas in Albania (IBA)

With regards to BirdLife International, AOS is managing the database on IBAs in Albania, has been reporting on different assessment of bird conservation status such as European Red List of Birds, Illegal Killing of Birds in the Mediterranean as well as other previous BirdLife publications on IBAs etc..