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 previously deforested area.

Therefore giving a strong awareness message and adding a little “oxygen” to their city, which is very important in these difficult times that all humanity is going through.

The highlights of the meeting:

  • Gathering at the rendezvous point and walking towards the Viroi Park, at a distance of about 4-5km. Along the itinerary, students, accompanied by AOS ornithologists, observed a range of urban bird species. Among the most favorite were: the Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti), the Common buzzard, (Buteo buteo), the Syrian woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus), the Common raven (Corvus corax) etc. The walk was also accompanied by many discussions on birds, their habitats and issues that concern their populations.
  • Arriving at Viroi Park, having a relaxing moment, followed by a discussion on forests, wetlands and their importance in the environment. The discussion was led by biologist and ornithologist Erald Xeka, accompanied by intervention from students, Dr. Taulant Bino and Dr. Gent Hyka, who were present at the event.
  • Last but not least, we all symbolically planted some Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) seedlings, reforesting a deforested area in this park. The students had the opportunity to see closely the process of planting new seedlings and to get acquainted with reforestation practices and the importance of this process in forest restoration.

We had planned various outdoor games to conclude this very important activity from a standpoint of organization, as it was organized by the CYC members themselves, and raising the public’s awareness about the importance of the environment.

We emphasize that for a while now, these young people have demonstrated scientific maturity in the development of various activities regarding nature preservation and raising awareness of sensitive environmental issues, such as the protection of the population of the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus).

Therefore, we have no choice but to thank and support them, and to feel optimistic!