Vision!

The European Green Belt, our shared natural heritage along the line of the former Iron Curtain, is to be conserved and restored as an ecological network connecting high-value natural and cultural landscapes while respecting the economic, social and cultural needs of local communities.

 

 

Balkan Green Belt as Ecological Corridor for Wolf, Bear and Lynx

Jablanica-Shebenik Mountain Range

April 2005 - October 2006

From April 2005 until October 2006, Euronatur conducted a project for the protection of large carnivores along the Balkan Green Belt.

The project focussed on preparatory works for the declaration of a transboundary protected area at the Jablanica-Shebenik mountain range forming the border between Albania and Macedonia north of Lake Ohrid. Data concerning flora and fauna was collected and analysed; both for the Albanian part – Mt. Shebenik – as well as for Macedonian Mt. Jablanica, lengthy reports including maps were prepared and handed in at the respective Ministries.

The protection of the area is of exceptional importance as it forms one of the last habitats of the Balkan lynx which is considered as an own subspecies of the Eurasian Lynx and whose population is estimated to be less than 100 individuals.

A second focus was put on capacity building within the fields of wildlife ecology and management as well as GIS technology. Five students from each country were trained and are now able to support future works in these fields with expert knowledge.

Both within Albania and Macedonia, the project had a great spin-off: in the near future, the Jablanica-Shebenik area will be designated as national parks in the respective countries based on the project reports. Additionally, the project raised national and international awareness for the critical status of the endangered Balkan Lynx. Based on the successful implementation of this project, further funds could be raised to continue and extend the efforts for the protection of the Balkan Lynx and its habitats in the southwest Balkans.

Partners:

KORA - Swiss expert organisation for large carnivores - www.kora.ch
PPNEA - Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania
MES - Macedonian Ecological Society - www.mes.org.mk

Financial support:

German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) – www.bfn.de