The first “National Anti-Poaching Camp” in Albania!

The first “National Anti-Poaching Camp” in Albania!

From October 25th-27th, the AOS team, as part of its “Combating Illegal Killing and Illegal Taking of Birds in Albania” project, conducted the National Anti-Poaching Camp, including 9 events: consultation among local and national stakeholders, 6 patrols across Seman / Terbuf territory, birdwatching, and a presentation about bird identification with Junior Rangers of Divjaka-Karavasta National Park.

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“BIRD RINGING CAMP – TALE 2019”

“BIRD RINGING CAMP – TALE 2019”

Bird ringing is an important process and method for researchers and conservationists that work with avifauna. It provides us useful information on the biology, productivity and movements of birds, helping us to monitor bird populations and their development. There have been years since the bird ringing is being used for scientific purposes. It all started in Denmark, in 1899, when Hans Christian Cornelius Mortensen ringed Common Starlings, using metal rings engraved with successive numbers. AOS – Albanian Ornithological Society has been involved with bird ringing since 2015, collaborating with MME, BirdLife Hungary, assisting every year in their camps set up  in Shkodër (Velipojë), Lezhë (Tale), Durrës (Rrushkull), Butrint (Liqeni i Bufit), Vlorë (Orikum), Divjakë. On 7-12 October 2019, we were in Tale (Lezhë) to set up a bird ringing camp in order to continue our 5-year tradition on bird ringing. This is the first bird ringing camp lead and applied thoroughly by Albanian...

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#EuroBirdwatch19 – Together for migratory birds!

#EuroBirdwatch19 – Together for migratory birds!

“Eurobirdwatch” takes place every year on the first weekend of October to raise awareness and draw attention to the risks and threats that birds face during migration. During the European migratory bird weekend, organizations that work in nature conservation encourage people of all ages to visit and become part of the observation points to explore, count and enjoy birds. This year, more than 29,000 people became part of  Europe’s largest birdwatching event, organized by 44 national partner organizations of BirdLife International. During EuroBirdwatch 19, more than 4.2 million birds were  observed in various countries in Europe and Asia. AOS became part of the European weekend dedicated to migratory birds held over the first weekend of October, #EuroBirdwatch19, with five different events: observation, counting, awareness talks, bird ringing session, and crossing point surveys of migratory birds. One of the main objectives of the AOS team for #EuroBirdwatch19 consisted of bringing ...

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The latest monitoring over Egyptian Vulture’s territories.

The latest monitoring over Egyptian Vulture’s territories.

In recent months, the dedication to monitoring and evaluating Egyptian Vulture’s territories has been intense and dynamic for AOS team. Following consecutive visits, AOS conducted the latest monitoring over Egyptian Vulture’s territories.  One of the main purposes of this visit consisted of the last monitoring of the territories of this species, the main focus was the status of adult and young individuals on these territories. To ensure a clearer record of the situation, AOS team decided to visit the EV territories twice a day, during the morning and afternoon. Observers decided to visit and monitor the space near and around the nest of this species. During the day, there was a lack of their presence in the nest and around the territory. Afterward monitoring the situation, adult and young individuals left their nests and began their journey in the third week of September 2019. The productivity and performance of the growth and development of young individuals appear to have been...

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“2-Days Vultur-ing”

“2-Days Vultur-ing”

AOS organized a two–days visit into the areas inhabited by the last Egyptian vultures (EV) in Albania (currently the local population consists of less than 10 pairs). The main activities during this visit were birdwatching and agro-tourism involving key representatives from decision making institutions with the aim to use this as a unique and special opportunity to raise awareness on the need for immediate action to prevent the extinction of this emblematic a species for Albania (locally called Cuckoo’s Horse). The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Environment, Mrs. Ornela Cuci, was among the participants and she was crucial for spreading the message for the conservation of the species. The Deputy Minister used social media to share the news and she even shared the information with the Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Edi Rama. At the same day, last Saturday 31st, the Prime Minister posted pictures of the EV (provided by AOS) in his own Facebook account together with a message on the...

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Investigation on Wildlife Poisoning in Albania

Investigation on Wildlife Poisoning in Albania

Wildlife poisoning is still a “hidden crime” in Albania. People, media, state authorities never talk about it (or almost never) but it is present and it has been silently killing our wildlife for years. In order to bring to spotlight this issue and in the framework of Balkan Anti-poisoning project, our team went south of Albania at the beginning of this week to investigate cases of wildlife poisoning. We spent four days in the south of Albania, visiting 23 villages in 5 main regions (Pogradec, Korçë, Ersekë, Përmet, Gjirokastër) and filled a considerable number of questionnaires. Our main target group was the local shepherds. Even though, sometimes we found it difficult to take any information from the interviewers due to the fact they were suspicious and careful with the information they provided to us, we were lucky enough to have some of them confirming the existence of poisoning as a method to control predators, such as bears, wolfs, etc. Meanwhile, others mentioned shooting and...

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International Vulture Awareness Day – 2019! #FlyWithTheVultures

International Vulture Awareness Day – 2019! #FlyWithTheVultures

The first Saturday in September each year is International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD). This international day is dedicated to vultures and raising awareness among the public at large about the conservation efforts undertaken all over the world for the safeguard of vultures, those species of critical ecological and environmental importance yet poorly appreciated by the public. AOS became part of the international efforts held on September the 7th, IVAD 2019, through a paragliding event, supported by “Egyptian Vulture New Life” project, aiming to spread the message “Fly With The Vultures”. 16 participants representing AOS, the Regional Agency for Protected Areas of Vlora (Ministry of Tourism and Environment), partner NGOs, journalists, social/environmental activists, young people, all supporters of conservation efforts undertaken by AOS, gave a joyous performance across the skies of Llogora National Park, in the very same former nesting territory of the Egyptian Vulture, the last...

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Exciting sightings from Egyptian Vulture territories in Albania!

Exciting sightings from Egyptian Vulture territories in Albania!

Great news are coming this month from Albania, during the continuous monitoring of the Egyptian Vulture territories. Finally, we spotted a fledgling of the Egyptian Vulture in one of the nests under our survey. In the early morning of 19th of July, two observers from the Albanian Ornithological Society started the monitoring of one of the EV nests, hoping so much to confirm the breeding success. Our spotting scopes were pointed towards the nest. Unfortunately, nothing was spotted in the nest during first ten minutes. Then, a lovely brownish little bird, much smaller than the adults we used to see before in the nest, was standing in front of us. It was the fledgling of the Egyptian Vulture! A tiny bit of hope was standing in front of us, giving us faith that our work on the recovery of the Egyptian Vulture’s population in Albania will be successful. After a short time, one of the parents left the nest, probably in search of the daily food. Later on, the second parent left the nest...

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Recovery of the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus)!

Recovery of the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus)!

Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is the symbol of Divjaka-Karavasta National Park, the only breeding site for this bird in Albania. Before the 90s, there were hundreds of breeding pairs (200 – 250 breeding pairs) in Karavasta Lagoon. While, after the 90s the number of the breeding pairs suffered an extreme decline, questioning thus the future of this species in our country. Habitat change, lack of food (as a result of over fishing), human disturbance (illegal killing of birds, stealing of the eggs, taxidermy) are some of the main reasons that led to a frightening decline in the number of the Dalmatian Pelican’s breeding pairs after the 90s. Fortunately, there was an instant reaction from conservationists, governmental institutions, local community and more, preventing thus a painful end for the Dalmatian Pelican. Thanks to the work of all this people, the Dalmatian Pelican’s colony has been recovering these last years. 2019 – Year of success for the Dalmatian Pelican. 2019 is...

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Flight For Survival! #FlightForSurvival

Flight For Survival! #FlightForSurvival

Within the framework of “Egyptian Vulture New Life” and “Combating Illegal Killing and Taking of Birds in Albania”, AOS organized a photo-projection event, “ Flight For Survival”, to introduce to the public seven species which are known as “Magnificent Seven”: Egyptian Vulture   / Neophron percnopterus / #MagnificentEgyptianVulture, White Stork  / Ciconia ciconia / #MagnificentWhiteStork, Turtle Dove  / Streptopelia turtur / #MagnificentTurtleDove, Imperial Eagle  / Aquila heliaca / #MagnificentImperialEagle, Honey Buzzard  / Pernis apivorus / #MagnificentHoneyBuzzard, Common Quail  / Coturnix coturnix / #MagnificentCommonQuail, Eurasian Blackcap / Sylvia atricapilla / #MagnificentBlackcap. #FlightForSurvival is one of the largest international campaign which aims at putting an end to illegal killing of migratory birds in Mediterranean. Every year, an average of 25 000 000 birds are illegally killed throughout Mediterranean. The threats posed are the illegal killings and taking,...

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AOS and HOS, joint monitoring in the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) territories.

AOS and HOS, joint monitoring in the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) territories.

Meanwhile AOS is getting ready for the next visit in the Egyptian Vulture territories, we are telling you our latest experience with our colleagues from Hellenic Ornithological Society – HOS. Our latest visit was carried out in the beginning of June (5-8 June 2019) and it was a joint monitoring of the Egyptian Vulture territories in south of Albania. With a long-standing experience in monitoring and studying of endangered species, both organizations proved to be “UNUM” in their common mission of monitoring the Egyptian Vulture. As we have mentioned before, the Egyptian Vulture is not an easy species to work with, it is an intelligent species with a quite secretive behavior. Despite that, our regular visits in the Egyptian Vulture territories has helped us to have a better knowledge on this species, on its behavior and in the same time to be more effective in our work. The collaboration with HOS has had a great influence in this regard. They shared with us some “secrets of the...

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Egyptian Vulture, (Neophron percnopterus) – The Last Vulture in Albania!

Egyptian Vulture, (Neophron percnopterus) – The Last Vulture in Albania!

WE NEED URGENTLY YOUR HELP! Your support and contribution, even the smallest amount, is critical to ensure the return to the sustainable state of Egyptian Vulture in Albania. Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) is globally endangered "EN". In our country, of the four nesting vulture species once, nowadays only the Egyptian vulture continues to breed, though at very critical levels. AOS-Albanian Ornithological Society in cooperation with international and national partners, in the light of efforts to ensure the sustainability of nesting and the success of the reproduction of this icon species, we have undertaken a lot of initiatives based on scientific research, awareness and capacity building . Our latest initiative is focused on capacity building among young people who share the passion and willingness to engage in the protection of this icon species in the long-term. Our aim is to include this young generation in the international monitoring schemes of the Egyptian vulture’s...

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International Expert on Ecosystem Services

International Expert on Ecosystem Services

Background: Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) in partnership with the PSEDA-Iliria and ResPublica  are jointly implementing the “Let’s Make Divjaka Natural Again” project, financed by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). The project “Let's Make Divjaka Natural Again!” aims at preserving and protecting biodiversity as a whole in  Divjaka-Karavasta National Park by ensuring sustainability in decision-making through the involvement of local communities in conservation actions and by stimulating alternative local livelihood projects in order to reduce pressure on natural resources. AOS, through working actively in the protection of wild birds, has continually taken into consideration the protection of their critical and endangered habitats by addressing many aspects closely related to sustainable development and ecosystems preservations, especially the services they provide local communities and beyond Although, numerous studies and assessments have been undertaken on...

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Communication Expert

Communication Expert

Background:   AOS Mission is to identify and provide practical, theoretical, institutional and legal alternatives for long-term solutions in the protection and enhancement of bird community and their critical habitats, biodiversity, nature and environment in Albania and to work closely with all the stakeholders for the sustainable use of natural resources. AOS is achieving its mission through making advocacy, building and strengthening internal and external capacities in the country, providing services for those who need, making watchdog for the implementation of legal framework on birds and nature conservation in Albania and offering expertise in bird studies and research. In order to achieve this mission, AOS has the following objectives: To prevent the extinction of bird species and to improve their conservation status in Albania, To preserve and enhance bird habitats, bird ecosystems and Important Bird Areas in the country, To support the interested parties and contributing...

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11th of May – Dalmatian’s Pelican Day

11th of May – Dalmatian’s Pelican Day

This Saturday, Divjaka-Karavasta National Park turned into a festive arena that brought together dozens and hundreds of visitors from Kosovo and Albania. The theme of this day was the symbol bird of Divjaka-Karavasta National Park, the Dalmatian Pelican, giving so this day, 11th of May, the name “Dalmatian’s Pelican Day”. The purpose of this celebrating activity was to raise awareness in a national level for the protection of the Divjaka-Karavasta NP and for the protection of the Dalmatian Pelican and in the same time to promote the development of a sustainable tourism and the diversity of the local and traditional products of Divjaka-Karavasta through a local fair. Local businesses, farmers, artisans, local and central authorities, and other groups of interest joined this local fair, showcasing proudly their local agricultural, gastronomic and ethnographic products. This activity was carried out within the framework of the “Let’s Make Divjaka Natural Again!” project, funded by...

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Hunters and Ornithologists, joint monitoring of Common Quail in Tërbufi plain.

Hunters and Ornithologists, joint monitoring of Common Quail in Tërbufi plain.

Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix) is a small migratory bird, in the pheasant family (Phasianidae). In our country, it is both, migratory and resident. Common Quail is a bird with a secretive behavior, seldom seen and often heard. It is listed as a game species. Red List Category:       Within the framework of “Combating illegal killing and taking of birds in Albania” project, this Sunday (5 May 2019), AOS’ team and hunters monitored Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix) population in some plots in Tërbufi plain. The monitoring of Common Quail was based on the method with transects. Transects (with a total length of 10 km) along the selected plots, covered a surface of 5 km2. The patrolling of the area lasted 5 hours, with 2-3 minutes breaks along the transects in order to register the males’ mating calls that have already started in this period of the year. On the monitored area was recorded a total of 22 individuals of Common Quail (seen and heard), and was noted the...

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First expedition in the Egyptian Vulture’s territories

First expedition in the Egyptian Vulture’s territories

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) – Last vulture in Albania. Of the four breeding vultures species in Albania, nowadays only Egyptian Vulture continues to breed in our country, even though critically endangered. Therefore, our awareness for our last breeding vulture should be at its peak! Egyptian Vulture is a globally endangered (EN) species whose population is facing a constant decline. The same situation is present also in the Balkans where only 50 pairs of them remain, from which up to 5 pairs are estimated to breed in our country. A number of different reasons has led to the decline of the Egyptian Vulture population, such as: poisoning, electrocution, collision, poaching, illegal wildlife trafficking, etc. Driven from this major threat (which leads to extinction), experts and institutions from all over the world have joined forces to recover Egyptian Vulture populations. Part of this initiative is also our country since 2002.   In the Egyptian Vulture’s territories....

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White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) population in Albania / Breeding platform – solution to electrocution.

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) population in Albania / Breeding platform – solution to electrocution.

White Stork population in Albania. White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a huge migratory bird of Ciconiidae family. It prefers to build its nest close to humans’ settlements, such as: roofs, cult objects, old buildings, high trees, and recently in electrical poles. From all birds, White Stork is the most well-known and worshiped bird, thanks to the closeness with humans. Unfortunately, this closeness has had also some negative consequences as recently this bird has been disturbed by human activities. White Stork is not an endangered species when we speak globally but, unfortunately, a quite different reality is present in Albania. Today, only 6 breeding pairs are estimated to live in our country, unlike the past when it was present throughout the country with hundreds of breeding pairs.   Electrocution and Collision – a threat to the life of birds. Due to a large network of electric power distribution (about 15,600 km – low and medium voltage power lines, and about 2,584.9 km – high...

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National Advocacy Expert

National Advocacy Expert

Background: Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) in partnership with the Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) are jointly implementing the project “Combating Illegal Killing and Illegal Taking of Birds in Albania” supported by EuroNatur Foundation and financed by the MAVA Foundation. The phenomena of illegal killing and trapping of bird in Albania (IKB) is still considered a serious threat in the environmental crime spectrum. According to the latest reports, the number of birds killed illegally in Albania within a year varies from 206,000 - 325,000 individuals. These figures rank Albania among the first 10 Mediterranean countries with the worst record with regards to illegal killing and trapping of birds. Furthermore, this project aims at strengthen the implementation and legal aspects on hunting, fauna, biodiversity conservation, awareness in all levels as well as enhancement of collaboration  and partnerships among public authorities, civil society...

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