Survey on the use of poison baits in the south of Albania

Survey on the use of poison baits in the south of Albania

During September-December 2019, in the scope of the “Anti-Poisoning on Wildlife in Albania” project, a dedicated team of the Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) has conducted a survey in the south of the country. The survey aims to fill gaps on the data of wildlife poisoning in Albania, specifically in the use of poison baits against wildlife, the driving factors, as well as the consequences.

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Take a moment to fill out the survey on wildlife poisoning in Albania

Take a moment to fill out the survey on wildlife poisoning in Albania

This questionnaire is compiled by the Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) in the frame of “Anti-Poisoning on Wildlife in Albania” project, supported by the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) and MAVA Foundation. This questionnaire aims to get information on wildlife poisoning in Albania and to identify the root causes and consequences of this phenomenon. 

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AOS e-Newsletter – May/June edition is now available online!

AOS e-Newsletter – May/June edition is now available online!

We would like to announce that the 3rd edition of the AOS e-Newsletter / May-June edition is now available online. The last two months have been busy and immensely active for the team of Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS). The May/June edition of the AOS e-Newsletter will inform you about the celebrations and conservation actions undertaken by the AOS team on the marked international/world days dedicated to biodiversity, migratory birds, and the environment. 

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The establishment of the first Bird Rehabilitation Center in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park

The establishment of the first Bird Rehabilitation Center in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park

In the last years, considerable cases of injured and harmed birds have been recorded, mainly caused by poaching activities, collisions, diseases, or falling. In most of the mentioned cases above, the complete treatment or rehabilitation of such has never been feasible – due to the lack of a specialized rehabilitation center dedicated to wild birds. Consequently, the UNDP Albania announced an open call for project proposals intended for the establishment of the first bird rehabilitation center. 

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Volunteering with Benefits – AOS Volunteer, Ildiko

Volunteering with Benefits – AOS Volunteer, Ildiko

When you volunteer, whether it’s to give of your time, talents, or materials, you walk on with your life journey as a different person. I have been volunteering since high school in different parts of the Balkan region; mostly in humanitarian projects focusing on teaching children and teens. But then the tables had turned and I signed up to a course to learn about identifying (IDing) birds with AOS -AlbanianOrnithological Society, and to be a student myself. What a change! …

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The clinical state of the Griffon vulture Mokos is improving

The clinical state of the Griffon vulture Mokos is improving

The tagged specimen of Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) with a satellite transmitter, named as Mokoš, was recaptured by the AOS field-ornithologists in Shkrodra region after we got notified by our regional partners, BirdLife Montenegro (CZIP) and BirdLife Slovenia (DOPPS), for the geographical data of the place where the specimen was located…

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Results from the gap analysis report on the Albanian legislation and publicly available information regarding the agricultural chemicals

Results from the gap analysis report on the Albanian legislation and publicly available information regarding the agricultural chemicals

Nowadays, in Albania as well as in many other countries, the intensification of agriculture activities dictates an escalation tendency for the use of agricultural chemicals – which the inappropriate application of those, not accordingly to the respective directives approved by the legal framework – impacts the human health, environment, and wildlife. The consequences of such a phenomenon have turned out a major and potential threat for the population of scavenger animals, including here – the population of Egyptian Vulture. In order to alleviate these impacts and to ensure sustainable use of agricultural chemicals, there is specific legislation that regulates the use, import, storage, and treatment of these chemicals. Following the working meeting that took place in both North Macedonia and Albania, focused on pesticides and VMP legislation analysis in the frame of action A1 of the LIFE project "Egyptian Vulture New LIFE”, the Albanian Ornithological Society  (AOS) conducted a gap...

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Results from the monitoring of breeding waterbirds in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park

Results from the monitoring of breeding waterbirds in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park

Throughout 2020 the team of AOS field-ornithologists has been engaged in monitoring breeding birds in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park and in implementing appropriate conservation measures for specific waterbird species in order to provide a safe and suitable habitat during the breeding season.  Like every year, the monitoring of breeding birds in Divjaka launched in January with the monitoring of the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) colony that, this year (2020), reached the record number of 85 breeding pairs. This was followed by the monitoring of other bird species, first the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis).  However, there is greater diversity of waterbird species breeding in Divjaka than that.  The stronghold of waterbirds -Divjaka- is inhabited by other breeding waterbird species as well. Since April 2020,  the status and progress of the breeding season have been monitored and evaluated by a dedicated team of AOS field-experts....

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A specimen of Griffon Vulture in Divjaka Rehabilitation Center

A specimen of Griffon Vulture in Divjaka Rehabilitation Center

During the first weekend of June (midnight of June 6th, 2020), AOS field-ornithologists were contacted by members of CZIP (BirdLife Montenegro) and DOPS (BirdLife Slovenia) about a tagged specimen of Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) with a satellite transmitter indicating that it was located in Shkodra. This specimen of Griffon Vulture, born in 2019, in Cres Island (Croatia), is a male named Mokoš. According to the routes and locations where the specimen rested and spent the nights, the members of Beli Center concluded that he found no food and continued to fly south until he no longer had the strength to fly.                            (a) The location of Mokoš / (b) The route followed by Mokoš Based on the geographical data provided by the GPS transmitter, the AOS team headed towards the respective location early in the morning (on June 7th, 2020), to check and observe the conditions where Mokoš was situated.  Mokoš was found to have suffered great weight loss, exhausted, and unable...

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World Environment Day 2020 – #TimeForNature / AOS ALB

World Environment Day 2020 – #TimeForNature / AOS ALB

During the isolation due to COVID-19, the appearance of wild fauna alongside urban areas and the improvement of air quality were nothing but calls of nature to increase vigilance in its conservation and observance. In this wave of reflection, on World Environment Day, dedicated to biodiversity and its importance in the quality of our lives, the #𝗔𝗢𝗦 team members via this video urge for more conservation actions and return of nature to our lives. The mitigation of the impact/pressure on ecosystems - especially the wetland ones that provide irreplaceable and priceless services to man - we need to change the way how economic development and society work today. Nature-friendly interaction is the solution and the response towards sustainable development and recovery of the crisis that nature and biodiversity are facing. Therefore, nature conservation stands for even more security and sustainability for us! LET'S BRING NATURE BACK TOGETHER INTO OUR LIVES!...

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Breeding waterbirds of the Vjosa-Narta area

Breeding waterbirds of the Vjosa-Narta area

During this period, the team of AOS field-ornithologists has been thoroughly engaged, as always, in monitoring and observing the population of waterbirds species in our coastal wetland sites. The latest field-visit of the AOS team was conducted in the Vjosa-Narta area, aiming to collect and provide data on waterbird species breeding in this wetland site. The AOS team completed covering the monitoring of every water body and other suitable breeding grounds including - islets, dikes, drainage canals, fishing, and salt basins ponds - thus providing a clear overview of the breeding waterbirds species and their population in the Vjosa-Narta area. The results obtained from the survey of the Vjosa-Narta area.  The results obtained from this survey are, as usual, very interesting. Below we are providing details on the colonially nesting waterbirds:  📌 Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) with 305-320 breeding pairs 📌 Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) with 175-185 breeding pairs 📌 Collared...

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Environmental Crime Digest No.1: two cases suspected of poisoning reported by AOS

Environmental Crime Digest No.1: two cases suspected of poisoning reported by AOS

The first edition of the joint electronic newsletter of REC Albania (The Resource Environmental Center) and OSCE Presence in Albania (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), entitled “Environmental Crime Digest No.1 ” was published at the beginning of June. This electronic publication is comprised of cases of environmental crime reported by the media and environmental associations and development around this issue in our country. It was created by the environmental organizations and members of the environmental crime advisory group in Albania as an instrument to collect and communicate specific cases of environmental crime with the help of law enforcement authorities. Amongst other cases reported by different stakeholders involved in this issue, Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) reported on two carcasses of European badger, suspected as poisoning cases. English version of the article published in the May edition of "Environmental Crime Digest" by AOS: Environmental...

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First record of Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) in Albania.

First record of Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) in Albania.

During the last week of the last month (May), the field-ornithologists of Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) conducted a monitoring visit in the Landscape Protected Area of Vjose-Narte, an important wetland site that hosts several waterbirds species. The observations and the results of this field-visit exceeded the expectations of the AOS field-ornithologists team.   AOS team has the extraordinary pleasure of sharing with the public the very special news of the first record of the Terek Sandpiper (lat. Xenus cinereus) in Albania. The species was observed (May 30, 2020) in the Salina of Skrofotina, in the Landscape Protected Area of Vjose-Narta — the exact habitat where the species is expected the most, considering that salinas are a great place for many migratory birds and especially for waders.  Terek Sandpiper (lat. Xenus cinereus)  is a unique smallish wader with stumpy bright orange legs and a noticeably upturned bill. Plumage gray overall with a white belly, but in flight...

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A glimpse of the colony of Herons and Cormorants Breeding in Divjaka

A glimpse of the colony of Herons and Cormorants Breeding in Divjaka

On the International Biodiversity Day (22th of May), we here at the Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) decided to celebrate it by sharing with AOS supporters, environmentalists, nature lovers, volunteers and members, the results provided from the last field-monitoring visit of the breeding activity of the mixed colony of Herons and Cormorants in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park – conducted by a joint team of AOS and RAPA Fier (Regional Administration of Protected Areas Fier).  Although under difficult working condition due to the location of colony and the level of water, the team arrived to detect the first insights on the current status of the colony, even though further field-visits are needed to adjust the number. The technique used for the monitoring of the colony were – via aerial drone, where the extension of the colony was estimated, and the direct observation with binoculars and spotting scopes.   According to the results of the monitoring-visit seems that the colony of...

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There is Hope for White Storks in Albania Again

There is Hope for White Storks in Albania Again

The spotlight of this season is definitely on the White Stork population in Albania! Historically a widely beloved symbol of good luck, the White Stork has in the past been a common species, living alongside us – using trees, rooftops, chimneys, and electric poles to build their nests. However, nowadays, the White Stork population in Albania has declined and an observation of this species is regarded as a glad tiding. Recently, the field-team of Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) revealed the newest update on White Storks nesting in Albania – seemingly, we have an increasing trend of White Storks in Albania, based on the latest reports that we have received from AOS local supporters and the consecutive monitoring visits conducted by AOS team. The first unexpected news came from Fier, where it turns out that the famous White Stork pair nesting on the artificial platform (Fier) installed by the Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) and OST (read more) is not the only White Stork...

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AL: Mësimet e nxjerra nga fushata për Divjakën

AL: Mësimet e nxjerra nga fushata për Divjakën

  Në vazhdimësi të artikullit "PREKJA E TE PAPREKSHMES" publikuar në revistën ndërkombëtare të “BirdLife Magazine”, AOS është bërë pjesë e serive të blog-ut të përbashkët të BirdLife Europe dhe CEPF (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund), “Lessons Learned”, për të ndarë me komunitetin ndërkombëtar dhe konservuesit e rinj në Mesdhe, përvojën dhe rrugëtimin e ndjekur në mbrojtjen e Parkut Kombëtar Divjakë-Karavasta nga projekti i paqëndrueshëm turistik. "Jini të sinqertë, jini të drejtë, tregohuni të hapur!" - Taulant Bino, Presidenti i Shoqatës Ornitologjike Shqiptare (AOS).  Projekti juaj po adreson një problem të rëndësishëm konservimi. Cfarë ju frymëzoi për të gjetur një zgjidhje? Parku Kombëtar Divjaka-Karavasta është vendi që dua më shumë. Jam rritur duke vlerësuar pasurinë e saj biologjike, peisazhin e saj, njerëzit dhe mënyrën tradicionale të jetuarit. Më pëlqen çdo stinë: dimri me shpendet e ujit, pranvera dhe vera me shpend të shumtë folezues (përfshirë Pelikanin...

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Rehabilitation of breeding grounds for Little Terns in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park

Rehabilitation of breeding grounds for Little Terns in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) – marks an important date in AOS’ annual calendar, celebrated in various creative ways to raise awareness about conservation and the ecological importance of migratory birds in the global ecosystem. This year’s theme “Birds Connect Our World” was chosen in order to highlight the importance of conservation and restoration of ecological connectivity and the integrity of ecosystems that support the movement of these birds.  This year for WMBD 2020, unable to organize a public event with wider participation due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) decided to contribute through direct field-actions, in the National Park Divjaka-Karavasta, focused on the recovery of the Little Tern. Why we chose this species - the Little Tern (Sternula albifrons} is a small migratory waterbird whose population has been quickly decreasing in Divjaka-Karavasta and Albania. From 300-400 breeding pairs in Divjaka-Karavasta in early 1990', now the...

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Preliminary monitoring results of the Egyptian Vulture in Albania

Preliminary monitoring results of the Egyptian Vulture in Albania

Preliminary monitoring results of the Egyptian Vulture in Albania The first monitoring for this season of the population of Egyptian Vulture (𝘕𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘯𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘶𝘴) in Albania is successfully completed. The monitoring results for the confirmation of the territories shows that the population of the Egyptian Vulture in Albania is located in eight occupied territories, located in the area of Mallakastra, Tepelena, Gjirokastra and Përmet. The observed population consists of only 5 pair and 3 single individuals. Considering these preliminary results and comparing with 2019, we can say that the population of Egyptian Vulture is either stable or declining while the species continues to be in critical condition. Once very common, today, the Egyptian Vulture is found only in a few limited territories, in the south of the country. The limited number of the Egyptian Vultures in Albania, is an indicator of the critical situation of this  population. At the same time emphasizes the necessity of...

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Lesson learned from the case of the battle to keep Albanian’s protected areas protected.

Lesson learned from the case of the battle to keep Albanian’s protected areas protected.

The article published in BirdLife International Magazine, called “The battle to keep Albanian’s protected areas protected” is followed by the interview of Head of Albanian Ornithological Society for the Lessons Learned blog-series of BirdLife and CEPF. Find out below more about the shared local insight from Taulant Bino, Head of Albanian Ornithological Society.    As part of our Lessons Learned series to share advice from civil society organisations, here's some local insight from Taulant Bino, Head of Albanian Ornithological Society: Your project is tackling an important conservation problem. What inspired you to find a solution? Divjaka-Karavasta National Park is the place I love the most. I grew up appreciating its biodiversity richness, its landscape, the people, and the traditional way of living. I love every season: winter with thousands of waterbirds, spring, and summer with plenty of breeding birds (including the majestic Dalmatian Pelican, which I’ve monitored since the...

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