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.

According to the results provided by the continuous monitoring of colonially breeding waterbirds, up to now, among waterbirds breeding in the lagoon islets, AOS field-experts have registered:

📌 Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) with 240-270 breeding pairs; 

📌 Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) with 60-70 breeding pairs; 

📌 Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) with 45-55 pairs up to now; 

📌 Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) with 7-9 breeding pairs; 

📌 Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) with 1-2 pairs; 

📌 Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nylotica) in breeding display and, 

📌 Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola) with 1-2 breeding pairs. 

The above figures demonstrate that lagoon islets remain the primary nesting place for Gulls and Terns breeding in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park. But the increased figure of the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) and the long-term reduction of the Little tern (Sternula albifrons) shows that the number of breeding birds could be increased if management measures for the creation of new breeding grounds are implemented.  

The above activity was conducted in the frame of AOS monitoring activity on breeding waterbirds in the main wetlands of Albania. This monitoring is a continuation of previous work started in 1995 by AOS ornithologists as part of the national monitoring scheme of waterbirds and the latest international reporting, such as the European Breeding Birds Atlas 2, the European Red List of Birds etc.

The results and data collected throughout the years reflect the importance of this site, where the habitat of several endangered bird species are supported. Nevertheless, nicknamed as the epicentre of biodiversity in Albania, the National Park Divjaka-Karavasta needs your active support for strengthening conservation measures and activities undertaken for boosting the sustainable development of the tourism sector. 

The monitoring scheme of breeding waterbirds in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park conducted by AOS is supported by CEPF (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) within the framework of “Let’s Make Divjaka Natural Again” project in collaboration with PSEDA-Iliria and ResPublica

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