Last week (December 13-14), AOS organized “Ornithological Friday and Vultures in Drino Valley”, a two-day visit focused on the importance of the area for the Egyptian Vulture and other species of migratory birds (Lesser kestrel).

During the two-day visit, following the tradition of “Ornithological Friday”, AOS visited Eqrem Cabej University and Azim Zeneli high school (Eco Friend) to discuss with pupils and students on Egyptian Vulture’s ecological importance and its territories in Drino Valley. The objectives of this two-day were concentrated on raising awareness for endangered species, and fostering young people’s involvement in local level’s conservation actions/efforts for the EV population. In addition, the Gjirokastra Regional Administration of Protected Areas followed the presentation at Eqrem Cabej University with the presence of Mr. Gligor Dushi to disseminate their experience in monitoring Egyptian Vulture population and other migratory birds.

“Ornithological Friday” could not make sense without visiting and birdwatching important bird areas in Gjirokastra. Therefore, following the “Ornithological Friday” with an intensive agenda, on Saturday (December 14th), we met again with the pupils of Azim Zeneli high school to observe the waterbirds fowl at Bulo Lake, near Libohova. In this session, the curiosity of the pupils and students is even greater than the biodiversity talks conducted in the auditorium.

Last but not least, we decided to close our field visit with birding in Libohova-Glina area, as one of the most important territories in Albania for the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus). It was here that we closed our visit with the extremely rare survey of the Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) that is probably recorded for the first time as wintering in Albania.

In the end, our heartfelt thanks go to the Gjirokastra Regional Administration of Protected Areas and Director Gligor Dushi, to the Faculty of Natural Sciences (“Eqerem Cabej” University, Gjirokastra) and to the Dean Prof. Selfo Oruci, for Gymnasium “Asim Zeneli” and passionate teacher Genti Hyka and for all those excellent pupils and students with whom we shared two very surprising days that we believe will be repeated very soon.

This activity supported by the Egyptian Vulture New Life project! 

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