Konventa e Bernës i bën thirrje qeverisë të rishikojë planet për ndërtimin e aeroportit të Vlorës në Lagunën e Nartës

Konventa e Bernës i bën thirrje qeverisë të rishikojë planet për ndërtimin e aeroportit të Vlorës në Lagunën e Nartës

Tiranë 19 tetor 2021. Byroja e Komitetit të Përhershëm të Konventës së Bernës, në mbledhjen e fundit, i ka bërë thirrje qeverisë shqiptare të rishikojë planet për ndërtimin e aeroportit të Vlorës. Komiteti ndau shqetësimin e thellë në lidhje me planet për urbanizimin e zonës së mbrojtur Vjosë-Nartë dhe duke theksuar vlerat e njohura natyrore të kësaj zone kërkoi zbatimin e një regjimi të fortë mbrojtje. Çështja e projektit të aeroportit të Vlorës u përfshi në ankesën e depozituar më parë nga  EcoAlbania mbi Ndikimet e pritura negative të ndërtimit të hidrocentraleve në lumin Vjosë,  ku ndërtimi i aeroportit në Vjosë-Nartë është përfshirë si një rrezik iminent në ekosistemin e deltës së  Vjosës.  “Projektet e mëdha zhvillimore si aeroporti dhe hidrocentralet rrezikojnë luginën e Vjosës, një ekosistem unik e me bidoversitet të pasur, ndaj përpjekjet tona për ta ruajtur atë po mbështeten fuqimisht edhe nga institucionet ndërkombëtare siç është edhe Komiteti i Përhershëm in Bernës. Ne si...

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THE PERCEPTION OF ALBANIANS ABOUT THE WILDLIFE POISONING – INFORMATIVE-EDUCATIONAL MEETINGS IN SOME RURAL AREAS OF SOUTHERN ALBANIA

THE PERCEPTION OF ALBANIANS ABOUT THE WILDLIFE POISONING – INFORMATIVE-EDUCATIONAL MEETINGS IN SOME RURAL AREAS OF SOUTHERN ALBANIA

Wildlife poisoning in Albania is an open secret and a widespread phenomenon throughout the country, mainly in rural and livestock areas where the conflict between humans and wildlife is more present. However, the information that Albanians have about this phenomenon is scarce. Survey on the information & perception of Albanians about the wildlife poisoning During August, the Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS), as part of the BalkanDetox LIFE project, conducted a survey on the information and perception that the inhabitants of some rural areas have about the poisoning of wild animals. The survey took place in some villages in the region of Gjirokastra, which have been designated as hotspot areas for poisoning due to confirmed cases of wildlife poisoning and the presence of one of the most endangered species, the Egyptian Vulture. The target groups of this survey were shepherds, farmers, hunters, as well as other representatives from these communities. What do the respondents...

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Wildlife Crime Academy: using CSI and forensic science to solve wildlife crimes across 9 countries

Wildlife Crime Academy: using CSI and forensic science to solve wildlife crimes across 9 countries

Let's be honest: Death plays a significant part in wildlife conservation. Conservationists can spend years protecting wild species and their habitats, and suddenly one illegal poisoning incident can wipe out an entire vulture colony in the Republic of North Macedonia, poachers in Bulgaria can kill a recently reintroduced Cinereous Vulture or combining these illegal practices can bring the Egyptian Vulture on the age of extinction in Greece. But these animals don't have to die in vain. Poisoning, poaching, trapping, collision, electrocution and illegal trade — all examples of severe wildlife crimes — are overlooked and under-prosecuted. Why is that? Well for starters, victims of these crimes don't have a voice, making them powerless unless people care. Secondly, when it comes to solving these crimes, investigators face several setbacks such as remote crime scenes with degrading evidence, unreliable or no witnesses, nonexistent protocols and lack of specific training. It's urgent to...

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BOOKLET ON THE USE OF POISON BAITS AGAINST WILDLIFE IN ALBANIA

BOOKLET ON THE USE OF POISON BAITS AGAINST WILDLIFE IN ALBANIA

We are happy to share with you the booklet on “The use of poison baits against wildlife in Albania”, prepared by AOS in the framework of the Balkan Anti-Poisoning Project. This booklet aims to raise awareness among government bodies and the Albanian public about the prevalence of wildlife poisoning in the country, the mass use of poison baits as the main means of direct extermination of large and medium-sized carnivores as well as indirect extermination of many other rare and endangered species. At the same time, this booklet highlights the problems in the management of poisoning incidents, and suggests solutions to combat wildlife poisoning in Albania. In this booklet you will find: The relevant legal framework that prohibits the use of poison baits and poisonous substances against wildlife; The responsible institutions for the management of poisoning incidents and their role; Study on the use of poison baits and banned poisonous substances in Albania. This booklet is printed in 150...

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The energy of the youth focused on protecting the Egyptian Vulture

The energy of the youth focused on protecting the Egyptian Vulture

The members of the Conservation Youth Club of Gjirokastra are already confirmed ambassadors for the protection of the only breeding vulture in our country, the Egyptian Vulture. At the beginning of May, on World Migratory Bird Day 2021, CYC-Gjirokastra undertook a very original and interesting activity in the museum area of the city of Gjirokastra, creating a performance on the city streets to draw the attention of passers-by to the importance of the Egyptian Vulture for nature and Gjirokastra. The event was entitled "A Postcard from the Egyptian Vulture", where CYC youth distributed to passers-by postcards with the image of the Egyptian Vulture and to further personalize it, they wrote an awareness message, unique to each postcard. In addition, they projected on the wall of a museum building awareness materials regarding the protection of the Egyptian Vulture population in Gjirokastra and beyond in the Vjosa valley. The event was well received by many citizens and visitors, who were...

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Wildlife Crime Academy: first training starts in one week

Wildlife Crime Academy: first training starts in one week

In Andalusia, Spain, they even use helicopters to investigate suspicious bird mortality. An action that might seem unreal for other countries, but it’s actually just a tool and not the most important aspect in solving wildlife crime. What really matters in criminal investigations are the human resources, capacities and real engagement from the competent authorities. Spain is leading the way when it comes to fighting wildlife crime. In the Balkans, it’s a different story, but there is hope. First of all, there has been some progress made over the past few years, especially in Bulgaria and Greece. Secondly, in exactly one week, the first Wildlife Crime Academy (WCA) course will commence in the hope to transfer Spanish expertise and raise capacities to the Balkans and beyond.  The problem of wildlife crime in the Balkans Currently, capacities and law enforcement related to wildlife crime hold very low priority in most Balkan countries, so...

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How can we protect “Protected Areas”?

How can we protect “Protected Areas”?

“Biodiversity Talks” comes again after a long hiatus, this time in a friendlier and more social format, away from the grueling online conversations; we will gather to talk to experts about the most current environmental challenges. AOS this time has united several “powerful” voices, who with their ideas, experience and expertise, will provide environmental dialogue and more. We strongly believe that the best solutions come from these platforms, from the process itself, in which ideas translate into tangible, cohesive, and comprehensive actions. Of course, the environmental challenges we face today may, at first glance, seem unsolvable and above all without the multifaceted goodwill to find solutions. Nevertheless, it is precisely these dimensions that unravel the complexity into concrete steps for nature protection and give voice and solutions to environmental causes. Therefore, come to the next meeting on the topic “How can we protect ‘Protected Areas’”, where the panelist will...

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Another success story in Divjaka-Karavasta!

Another success story in Divjaka-Karavasta!

The platform built by AOS in April 2021, for the nesting of the Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) is functioning with maximum efficiency. The latest monitoring, undertaken on June 5, 2021, on World Environment Day, confirms that about 80 breeding pairs of Little Terns have built their nest on the platform and many new pairs are expected to do the same. The wooden platform, filled with gravel and sand, is set on the edge of a small island in Karavasta Lagoon. This platform has increased the nesting surface and avoided the risk of flooding by the rising water level in the lagoon. Adjacent to it, in 2020, the AOS team and RAPA Fier have cleaned an area of the island enabling a composite colony of Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) and Little Tern to build its nests there. In total, this management action has created suitable conditions for the nesting of over 160 pairs of Terns, thus marking the first successful case of Tern nesting platforms in Albania. The results of this intervention best...

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The BalkanDetox LIFE Project Team Finally Met in Person: 1st NEEMO Monitor Visit and 2nd Partnership Meeting

The BalkanDetox LIFE Project Team Finally Met in Person: 1st NEEMO Monitor Visit and 2nd Partnership Meeting

The Project Team of the BalkanDetox LIFE project welcomed the opportunity to meet in person for the first time since the project officially started back in October 2020. During the meeting, the partners discussed and evaluated the overall implementation progress, analyzed the achievements and milestones reached so far and set a course of action for the next six months of the project. Additionally, we used this opportunity to carry out the 1st official NEEMO monitoring visit to our project. First face-to-face event since COVID-19 The Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) organized the meeting in Veles, North Macedonia, between 17-19 May, where members from AOS, PPNEA, BIOM, FWFF, MES and BPSSS attended in person. The VCF invested a lot of effort in the implementation of all COVID-19 precautionary measures, according to the official safety recommendations issued by the authorities in the Republic of North Macedonia, which were well respected by all meeting participants. This being the...

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HAPPY NATIONAL PELICAN’S DAY!

HAPPY NATIONAL PELICAN’S DAY!

  Today, 10th of May 2021, we celebrate the National Day of the Dalmatian Pelican. This day was designated 5 years ago, on the 10th of May 2017, to respect the efforts, to contribute further to the protection of this flagship species of Albania and Divjaka-Karavasta National Park and to raise the public awareness and particularly the local one on the importance of the conservation of this symbolic species. Today, we celebrate the results of the long-term efforts for the protection of the species that started since 2000 with the work of our colleague Taulant Bino, together with members of the local community of Divjaka and Rremas. In year 2000, the Dalmatian Pelican colony was in the brink of extinction with only 19 breeding pairs. The then efforts, despite the very troubled times in terms of poor socio-economic conditions and total lack of public order, halted the further reduction of the colony, testified the first increase in numbers towards a positive trend and marked the...

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4 REASONS TO CELEBRATE IN A DAY/WEEKEND!

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD7MY0G4AoY Here comes the most beautiful time of the year! We have entered the most fantastic period of great celebrations! AOS along with its teams, young people and wildlife enthusiasts, who have come together and are getting the most out of this fun and eventful weekend.   World Migratory Bird Day 2021 (WMBD2021) in Tirana and Gjirokastra; Global Birding Day 2021 in Narta, Divjaka, Presa, and Shkodra; Flight For Survival in Tirana and Gjirokastra; Dalmatian Pelican’s Day 2021 in Tirana and Divjaka-Karavasta National Park.   World Migratory Bird Day 2021 is being celebrated worldwide today, an event that takes place twice a year, in spring and autumn. Thousands of nature and wildlife enthusiasts around the world are currently celebrating the most beautiful natural phenomenon and spectacle, where millions of birds conquer the sky. AOS has brought the highlights from the annual trip /migration closer to the public on the biggest...

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Check out the newly launched website of the BalkanDetox LIFE project

Check out the newly launched website of the BalkanDetox LIFE project

The BalkanDetox LIFE project is a collaborative effort aiming to strengthen national capacities and raise awareness to fight illegal wildlife poisoning across seven Balkan countries. The use of poison baits is an unselective and damaging practice of killing animals, severely threatening many endangered species. It is urgent to address this issue. The new BalkanDetox LIFE website outlines the scale and scope of this problem and what measures the project team will undertake to tackle poisoning.   BalkanDetox LIFE website The new website allows visitors to learn about the extent of illegal wildlife poisoning in the Balkans by detailing the problem, hotspots, motives, legislation, and solutions, and at the same time, providing preventive measures and safe alternatives to poison baits that help resolve wildlife-human conflict. The website also demonstrates the various and targeted anti-poison actions the project team will implement to tackle this pressing conservation issue,...

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Protected Areas in Albania are threatened in order to pave the way for infrastructure projects

Protected Areas in Albania are threatened in order to pave the way for infrastructure projects

 NTC’s decision for the Network of Protected Areas in Albania deletes from the map areas of international and national importance  The group comprised of environmental organizations and the academic community of Albania, supported by foreign partner organizations, strongly opposes the process and results of the Review of the National Network of Protected Areas in Albania. The reason for the resumption of the debate was the publication of NTC’s draft decision No. 10, dated 28 December 2020, which has decided on the delimitation and internal zoning of the National Network of Protected Areas. The decision was taken following the initiative previously announced in August 2019 by the Ministry of Tourism and Environment. The draft decision excludes from the protected areas of Divjaka-Karavasta, Butrint, Vjosa-Narta, Buna-Velipoja, etc. entire traditional agricultural landscapes, as well as urban areas. Furthermore, this draft decision deletes from the map about 15,000 ha of Protected Areas...

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Kërcënohen Zonat e Mbrojtura në Shqipëri për t’i hapur rrugë projekteve infrastrukturore

Kërcënohen Zonat e Mbrojtura në Shqipëri për t’i hapur rrugë projekteve infrastrukturore

Vendimi i KKT i marrë në bllok për Rrjetin e Zonave të Mbrojtura në Shqipëri fshin nga harta zonat me rëndësi ndërkombëtare dhe kombëtare  Tiranë 20 Mars 2021- Grupimi i organizatave mjedisore dhe botës akademike në Shqipëri, të mbështetur nga organizata të huaja patnere, kundërshton me forcë procesin dhe rezultatet e Rishikimit të Rrjetit Kombëtar të Zonave të Mbrojtura Mjedisore në Shqipëri. Shkak për rinisjen e debatit është bërë publikimi i projekt-vendimit të KKT Nr. 10, datë 28 dhjetor 2020, që ka vendosur për përcaktimin e kufijve dhe zonimit të brendshëm të Rrjetit Kombëtar të Zonave të Mbrojtura. Vendimi është marrë pas nismës së shpallur më parë në gusht 2019 nga Ministria e Turizmit dhe Mjedisit. Projekt-vendimi përjashton nga Zonat e Mbrojtura në Divjakë-Karavasta, Butrint, Vjosë-Nartë, Bunë-Velipojë etj sipërfaqe të tëra të tokave bujqësore me përdorim tradicional si dhe zona urbane. Për më tepër ky project-vendim fshin nga harta rreth 15,000 ha të Zonave të Mbrojtura...

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The second hybrid consultative meeting on “Boundaries and Internal Zoning of the Protected Areas Network”

The second hybrid consultative meeting on “Boundaries and Internal Zoning of the Protected Areas Network”

On March 18, the second hybrid consultative meeting on “Boundaries and Internal Zoning of the Protected Areas Network” was held between civil society representatives and academics. Not far from the beginning of the second week of March, representatives of this network are acquainted with a draft decision, although expected, of the National Territory Council (NTC) regarding the network of Protected Areas; a decision that evaluated from the perspective of experts,  paves the way for investments in the internal borders of the PAs. In the most sought-after sites from the point of view of investment demand and at the same time, the most important areas in terms of biodiversity, we encounter extreme fragmentation of these areas in the case of the agricultural and urban lands in the Divjaka-Karavasta National Park as well as the centered “stain” in the Vjosa-Narta Protected Landscape, thus laying the "red carpet" for Vlora International Airport. Subsequently, this draft decision will not...

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Lead is poison

Lead is poison

Based on your feedback and comments in our most recent post regarding the impact of lead ammunition in wetlands, we will continue to address this issue. This time by presenting a short awareness video in order to once again highlight the negative consequences that lead has in our wetland environments. As a result of lead shot, more than 𝟮𝟬,𝟬𝟬𝟬 𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱 are deposited each year in European wetlands, which subsequently leads the poisoning of 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗱𝘂𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝘄𝗹 each year in Europe by way of ingestion. In Albania, there are still no studies that document the impact of lead on our wetlands, however the phenomenon exists. Lead deposited in wetlands affects not only waterfowl and other organisms that feed on these environments, but also other links in the food chain, such as raptors, scavengers, and even humans. The presence of lead in our body and other organisms causes serious disorders and, in some cases, death. Understandably, legal changes are needed in our...

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Call for proposals for the design services and concept-ideas, in relation to the design of the creation of long-term, sustainable, and ecological nesting habitats for the Little tern (Sternula albifrons)

Call for proposals for the design services and concept-ideas, in relation to the design of the creation of long-term, sustainable, and ecological nesting habitats for the Little tern (Sternula albifrons)

AOS - Albanian Ornithological Society seeks proposals from architecture studios or individuals practicing the profession of architect, who provide design services for concept-ideas, more specifically in relation to the design of the creation of long-term, sustainable, and ecological nesting habitats for the Little tern (Sternula albifrons). AOS - Albanian Ornithological Society in cooperation with the Regional Agency of Protected Areas - Fier Region (RAPA FIER) and representatives of the local community, has been taking concrete measures for years to rehabilitate or improve the population status of flagship species in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park. Based on several successful years of experience with the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), in the creation and expansion of natural areas for the reproduction of individuals of the colony as the only breeding ground on a national level for the species. Similarly, we seek to follow the same strategy by expanding and creating new...

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Impacts of lead shot ammunition in wetlands

Impacts of lead shot ammunition in wetlands

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗮 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗰𝘂𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘂𝗺 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗮𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘄𝗲𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀. For a long time lead has been one of the most used metals in ammunition because of its convenient characteristics like mass and flexibility. However, the consequences that lead concentrations can have on the body are severe and sometimes fatal. Based on this fact, the EU has decided on January 25, 2021 to ban the use of lead shot for hunting in wetlands, giving member countries time to permanently ban the use of this ammunition until February 15, 2023. In some countries, such as Denmark and The Netherlands, this legal measure has been in force for many years, replacing bullets with steel or tungsten-based ammunition. Other non-EU countries are trying to implement this initiative. What about Albania? In our country, there is still very little, if any, talk about this phenomenon. People are skeptical of the facts presented about the negative effects of lead on the...

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Students Of Conservation Youth Club-CYC From Gjirokastra, Albania, Take Care Of Nature And The Egyptian Vulture

Students Of Conservation Youth Club-CYC From Gjirokastra, Albania, Take Care Of Nature And The Egyptian Vulture

The first weekend of February marked a journey full of sunshine, joy, and a lot of love for nature and conservation of endangered species, of a new 1-year cooperation between the members of CYC-Gjirokastra, their teacher and leader of the network, Mr. Gentjan Hyka, and AOS. For the third consecutive year, the project "Egyptian Vulture New Life" is represented by the young ambassadors, a network that is becoming more and more consolidated, united by passion and their only goal: Leading the fight for Albanian wildlife conservation with their common denominator, rescuing the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus). The youngsters themselves insisted for these activities to be carried out as soon as possible with the desire and good will to get more information about the activities and plans that await us for this year. As a symbol of this very fruitful, friendly, well-intentioned, and hopeful cooperation for this country, some pine seedlings were planted that weekend in Viroi Park, a...

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BirdID Albania: Interesting observation from Kune-Vain-Tale Nature Park

BirdID Albania: Interesting observation from Kune-Vain-Tale Nature Park

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗞𝘂𝗻𝗲-𝗩𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝘀𝗼 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝘄𝗲𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗔𝗹𝗯𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗮? For many visitors, this might be a non-relevant question! This is not the case for the ornithologists and the the students of BirdID Albania. Kune-Vaini is a coastal wetland with high quantities of fresh water due to the impact of artesian wells that provide continuous fresh water to this lagoon system. Due this fresh water discharge, the wetland system is covered by large reedbeds, creating thus one of the most wetland sites of Albania. The fresh waters and reedbeds are the main reason for the presence of high numbers of ducks, songbirds of reedbeds as well as many other species specialized in fresh and brackish waters. This very interesting ecosystem, was the site visited by students of BirdID Albania during the weekend of January 30-31, 2021. The observed bird species were very interesting. It was worth noting the presence of Eurasian bittern (Botaurus stellaris), Redwing (Turdus iliacus), Common...

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