They are a part of our planet’s incredible biodiversity, and they include the places, or ‘habitats’, that are home to all life on Earth.
Read more about the habitat types of transboundary Prespa, or visit some of them using the guide in this electronic version of our new leaflet, which has been created as part of the PrespaNet project ‘Strengthening NGO-led Conservation in the Transboundary Prespa Basin’, funded by PONT and the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation, with support from EuroNatur, and which will be available in print form soon!
Despite the pandemic, MES managed to mark this incredibly important day following all measures of precaution. Together with otu parners from Greece (SPP) and Albania (PPNEA) we counted the Dalmatian and Great White Pelican pairs on Lesser and Greater Prespa Lakes. We moved along predefined points of interest and on the way met with our collaborators from Nature Park “Ezerani”, and several activists and volunteers from the region that helped us finally and timely reach our last destination, one of the most special places in our country – Golem Grad island. The whole experience was documented using facebook live and you can see the video in English here as well as videos of us approaching and circling the island. For more videos with Macedonian content please visit the Macedonian version of this post and also enjoy the photographs.
Saying hi to our international colleagues and followers from v. Konjsko
Approaching Golem Grad Island
Riding around the island
A message from our friends and colleagues from National Park “Galichica”
MES and NP Galichica started a detailed monitoring scheme (using the capture-mark-recapture methodology) of the Macedonian newt (Triturus macedonicus) in Simoncheska Pond on Mt. Galichica. During two capture sessions we used aquatic funnel traps to trap newts and photographed the unique belly color patterns of each captured individual in order to recognize recaptures. This efficient and reliable methodology of estimating newt population size was implemented for the first time in North Macedonia and is another testament to the fruitful collaboration between MES and NP Galichica. Practicing such standardized methodology is crucial to North Macedonia’s European Union aspirations. Namely, the Macedonian newt is on Annex II of the EU habitats directive, which means that its presence qualifies the area for a protected NATURA 2000 site and its populations should be monitored continuously.
We were hard at work in 2019, planning wetland restoration, studying mammals, birds and reptiles, working with many kids and future citizen scientists of Prespa and much more. For a brief summary of each of the components that make up the project “Strengthening NGO-led Conservation in the Transboundary Prespa Basin” financed by PONT and the Aage V. Jensen foundation, please visit the overview prepared for PONT
The transboundary nature of Prespa and Baba Mt. implores transboundary cooperation and coordination in order to achieve the efficient conservation of the region that PrespaNet strives for. Consequently, when MES was invited to join the Biology Students’ Research Society in their biological and ecological investigations of Baba Mt. (particularly national park “Pelister”) from July 8th-13th, we used PrespaNet to reach out and invite student volunteers from the three countries where the Prespa basin stretches.
During the intense field research, we explored the biological diversity of the mountain, generously shared knowledge and experience with over thirty students, and noted any new biological and ecological data for the national park, as well as what has sadly gone missing and is possibly now extinct. Collecting such data proved to have a two-fold purpose – research and education. The project foresees the organisation of a similar camp in 2020 in Greece.