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.
The construction of the Bird Rehabilitation Center has been demanded earlier by the Regional Administration of Protected Areas Fier (RAPA Fier). Depending on this necessity and the open call of UNDP, Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) and Erald Bejko (legal person) initiated in conceptualizing the Bird Rehabilitation Center and its components of the structure based on the functionality and services that the center will be capable to cover.
The Bird Rehabilitation Center was established to serve as a supportive center of the National Agency of Protected Areas for helping in the rehabilitation, as much as possible, of injured or orphaned birds and eventually release them back to the natural environment. The Bird Rehabilitation Center of Divjaka consists of three particular structures respectively:
(i) the main cage,
(ii) a secondary cage, and
(iii) the veterinary clinic.
The main cage (17,7 x 6 x 3.5) will serve for sheltering various birds that are under the rehabilitation and recovery process, whereas a secondary cage will mainly host those birds of prey that cannot be treated in the same cage with other birds. While the veterinary clinic is designed and intended to be used for small rehabilitative, surgical, or general medical interventions. Also, the main and secondary cage is equipped with additional measures to prevent conflict with predators. The materials used for the construction of structures guarantee resistance for a long-time in order to prevent their deterioration and destruction due to sun, humidity, etc.
Besides, the Bird Rehabilitation Center will play an important role in the education of society, especially the children in introducing them with birds and the protection of nature in general. The presence of injured bird cases in the center will also acquaint visitors with the threatening factors that wild birds are facing and the conservation measures undertaken for their mitigation. The center will function under the management of the Regional Administration of Protected Areas Fier.
Meanwhile, the current capacities of the Bird Rehabilitation of Divjaka should be developed further in order to provide more variety of services that contribute to achieving the aim the center is intended in the first place. In this aspect, the rehab center should be equipped with surgical instruments/tools, water and electricity sources, sanitary equipment, computer devices for recording data, and the most crucial element, a specialized veterinarian and a support staff member.
In closing, the establishment of the Bird Rehabilitation Center would not have been possible without the financial support of UNDP Albania and the commitment of the team who were involved in the construction of the rehab center, – AOS team, Erald Bejko and the director of RAPA Fier, Mr. Ardian Koci.
The establishment of the Bird Rehabilitation Center of Divjaka enabled by the project on the Financial Sustainability of Protected Areas in Albania.