International Vulture Awareness Day – 2019!  #FlyWithTheVultures

International Vulture Awareness Day – 2019! #FlyWithTheVultures

The first Saturday in September has been set aside as a day to consider the ecological importance of vultures. This specific day aims to educate a reluctant public in the critical role of this creature to the well-being of the environment. Last Saturday on September 7th for International Vulture Awareness Day 2019 within the framework of “Egyptian Vulture New Life” project, AOS team decided to spread the message “Fly With The Vultures” through a paragliding performance across the south of the country. South of the country, many years ago has been the regular habitat for vultures, where the species had its territory and nests. This activity dedicated to ‘The Egyptian Vulture’ (Neophron percnopterus) which carries an important key role for nature, ecosystem, and mankind. This event attended and supported by activists, journalists, young and sympathetic nature of supporters of conservation efforts undertaken by AOS. All participants, whether children or young adults, who took the chance...

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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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National Legal Expert

National Legal 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. 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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National Anti-Poisoning Road Map for Albania 2018-2025

National Anti-Poisoning Road Map for Albania 2018-2025

​In the framework of the Life project “ Egyptian Vulture New Life ” as well as BAPP- Balkan Anti-Poisoning Project, the Albanian Ornithological Society-AOS organization, in its capacity as the project partner in national level held the Second Meeting on Anti-Poisoning in Albania on December 5th 2018. With the participation of representatives from 4 international organizations (BSPB, VCF, HOS, GREEN BALKANS), this meeting resulted successfully in several key aspects of environmental crime treatment. The AOS presented its Draft-Road Map for Wildlife Anti-Poisoning in Albania. The presentation was followed by extensive discussions on the issue of fauna poisoning and the ways of fighting and preventing crimes against birds and wildlife. In this meeting participated also representatives from national decision-making and implementing authorities such as the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the State Inspectorate of the Environment, the...

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Assessment of the Impact of Illegal Killing on Vultures in Albania (2010-2018)

Assessment of the Impact of Illegal Killing on Vultures in Albania (2010-2018)

Vultures, although a rarity in the country, have often been subject of poisoning, trapping and poaching with evidences registered even in recent years. An estimation of the impact of IKB on vultures in Albania was undertaken in 2018, based on expert opinion and data collected through relevant stakeholders and social media groups. It shows that at least 1-3 individuals of vultures species are approximately killed every year. Griffon Vulture is often subject of poaching as it occurred in 2008 in Kukes, north of Albania, where an individual was killed for taxidermy purposes and it is today exposed in a restaurant in the city. Another Griffon Vulture was trapped in Lura (north of Albania) after being apparently injured due to electrocution. Although it somehow recovered, this individual was kept as a pet species for almost two years until its fatal electrocution in 2015. In addition, a tagged Griffon Vulture (from Serbia) was trapped in 2016 in Fushe-Kruja (nearby Tirana) showing signs...

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Identify and evaluate the use of veterinary drugs affecting the Egyptian Vulture

Identify and evaluate the use of veterinary drugs affecting the Egyptian Vulture

The Albanian Ornithological Society as a national partner within the project “Egyptian Vulture  New life” was tasked with the realization of Action 2: "Identifying and Evaluating the Use of Veterinary Drugs Affecting the Egyptian”. During the study, it was observed that from four products, confirmed as potentially dangerous for vultures,  Aceclofenac, Ketoprofen, Flunixin, Diclofenac, in the list provided by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, there were three of them; Ketoprofen, Flunixin and Diclofenac. Environmental and animal protection organizations have expressed concern about the negative effects of Diclofenac. Even in the EU, Diclofenac poses a direct risk to birds and mainly to vultures that are scavengers. Considering the drastic decline in this population, various actors have demanded the categorical prohibition of the use of Diclofenac. Meanwhile, it is noticed from the list that in Albania, this highly dangerous element for the wildlife has been used...

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Investigate the impact of agricultural chemicals as poisoning agents for the Egyptian Vulture.

Investigate the impact of agricultural chemicals as poisoning agents for the Egyptian Vulture.

Did you know that agricultural chemicals are considered to be highly dangerous to the Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus which is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List? To confirm this hypothesis,  the "Albanian Ornithological Society” as a national partner, under the “Egyptian Vulture New Life” project, undertook an investigation into the impact of agricultural chemicals as a poisonous agent for Egyptian Vulture in Albania. To accomplish this activity, AOS has been able to obtain the necessary information from the Department of Agriculture and Veterinary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania for all legal agricultural chemicals used in Albania recently. The material that the Ministry has provided us is the complete list of plant protection products, PPP, which is also known as the pesticide list. Currently, about 319 agricultural chemicals are currently used in Albania based on the above information. Meanwhile, 97 agricultural chemicals have...

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Projekti Kundër-Helmimit në Ballkan – BAPP

Projekti Kundër-Helmimit në Ballkan – BAPP

Duke u shtrirë në pesë shtete të Ballkanit (Shqipëri, Bosnie Hercegovina, Kroaci, Greqi dhe Maqedoni (FYR), ky projekt ka për qëllim angazhimin e qeverive përkatëse, grupimeve në mbrotje të kafshëve të egra, shoqatave të gjahtarëve, fermerët dhe shkencëtarët në një projekt ambicioz për të trajtuar kërcënimin e vetëm më serioz për shkabat: helmimin e paligjshëm.

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Egyptian Vulture New LIFE/ Projekti i Ri Life Kali i Qyqes

Egyptian Vulture New LIFE/ Projekti i Ri Life Kali i Qyqes

AOS ka filluar zbatimim e një projekti të ri Life i cili ka për qëllim forcimin dhe rimëkëmbjen e popullatës së Kalit të Qyqes në Ballkan dhe përgjatë korridorit të shtegtimit. Ajo përfshin 14 vende, ndër të cilat bën pjesë edhe Shqipëria. Ky projekt në nivel ndërkombëtar mbështetet financiarisht nga Bashkimi Evropian me bashkëfinancim nga fondacioni A.G. Leventis dhe zbatohet nga Shoqata Bullgare për Mbrotjen e Shpendëve (BSPB) në bashkëpunim me një rrjet shumë të gjerë partnerësh. AOS në kuadër të këtij projekti po zbaton disa aktivitete në drejtim të ruajtjes së popullatës së Kalit të Qyqes në Shqipëri.Objektivat dhe qëllimi  : Objektivat e projektit janë në përputhje me synimet e dokumentit më të fundit strategjik që përshkruan taktikën e ruajtjes për të shpëtuar speciet: Plani i Veprimit për Ruajtjen e Popullatës të Kalit të Qyqes Neophron percnopterus (PVKQ) në Ballkan dhe Azinë Qendrore, si një komponent kyç i integruar i MsAP-së së Shkabave. Prandaj objektivat specifikë të...

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