News and Announcements

March 3, 2017
Albania promotes a new life for bat species in abandoned bunkers and tunnels

Former military building Bunk’Art opens its doors for the unique Bat Expo “Bunkers: Shelters of Biodiversity”, on the occasion of World Wildlife Day celebrated worldwide on 3 March. The exhibition is a result of the cooperation of the EU funded project NaturAL, the National Agency of Protected Areas (NAPA) and Bunk’Art, and aims to inspire the decision-makers and each individual to take action to protect the wildlife. “A special focus is placed on the bats, the insectivorous mammals of key importance for the ecosystems and the human economy, and the abandoned bunkers that are taken over by nature – and becoming of great importance for nature conservation,” explained Mr. Celik Rruplli from the Bunk’Art.

The exhibition “Bunkers: Shelters of Biodiversity”, officially launched today, will be opened for visitors at Bunk’Art premises throughout 2017. While enjoying the expo, visitors can learn about bats species in Albania. “We are glad to witness that wildlife presence in Albania is improving and that our country offers new tourist attractions. Our efforts and partners’ contribution have resulted in the establishment of the wild fauna database in Albania that will improve the wildlife habitat management and safeguard the protected species,” stressed Mrs. Adriana Petri from the National Agency for Protected Areas.

The results of a series of investigations on bats, supported by NaturAL and other EU funded projects, recorded 32 bat species in Albania - a very high number considering that a maximum of 54 species have been recorded in whole Europe. 18 species out of 32 were spotted in the bunkers, like the Lesser Horseshoe Bat or the Greater Mouse-eared Bat. Mr. Ervis Loce, a bat expert and curator of the exhibition stressed that Albania is also home to the bat species endemic for the Western Balkans, Kolombatovic's Long-eared Bat.

“Albania offers a diversity of habitats very interesting for bats, such as caves, houses, trees, old military tunnels and bunkers widely spread throughout the country. The on-going work supported by EU will help the protection of those habitats, and involve the local community in this process,” said Mr. Antoine Avignon, Program Manager for Environment, Energy and Civil Protection at the EU Delegation to Albania.

“29% of the 82,954 species which are listed on the IUCN Red List are threatened with extinction, as announced at the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016. Habitat loss and climate change only partly explain this high extinction rate – disturbance and poaching represent a growing pressure on wildlife. Each of us is part of the solution, we need to act to ensure wildlife conservation,” added Mr. Boris Erg, Director of IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

World Wildlife Day 2017 theme is "Listen to the Young Voices" and NaturAl project through this exhibition is aiming at influencing youth’s environmental attitudes for wildlife conservation. Government representatives, law makers, enforcement officers, customs officials and park rangers across every region are scaling up their efforts to protect wildlife. It is also up to every citizen, young and old, to protect wildlife and their habitats. We all have a role to play – these were the key messages delivered during the ceremony.

Visit our Gallery to see more images.

Latest news

May 27, 2019

Scholarship opportunity for PhD programme in the field of environment

PfK offers a unique opportunity for future leaders and influencers to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience Italian culture and build lasting positive relationships with Italy. The PfK PhD program provides a total of 19 MSc scholarships and 6 PhD Fellowships in the period 2019-2022 for citizens of Kenya, Mozambique, Tunisia, Pakistan, Albania, Lebanon and Ethiopia. The call for PhD applications for PfK scholarships is now...

Read more

May 1, 2019

Llogara-Karaburun-Orikum-Mt. Cika – a model for Natura 2000 in Albania

In the process of joining the European Union, candidate countries such as Albania, must transpose into their national legislation the requirements of the Birds and Habitats Directives, the two legal pillars of Natura 2000 network. This process has been initiated in Albania within NaturAL, through consultative workshops with national biodiversity experts and participatory exercise with stakeholders and groups of interest that resulted in a preliminary list of...

Read more

April 17, 2019

Atlas 'Bats of Albania' published

Supported by the EU funded project NaturAL and led by Philippe Théou, rangers and experts from the Regional Administration of Protected Areas were monitoring the bat species occurrence in protected areas of Albania for several years, to understand them better and to assure more effective management of their habitats. The newly published Atlas: Bats of Albania summarizes the results of their work that confirms the importance of Albania for bat conservation in...

Read more

April 17, 2019

Towards Natura 2000 in Albania

Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of EU nature policies - the largest coordinated network of protected sites in the world. In Albania, the national network of protected areas covers 18% of the territory. Despite being on a steady rise, the Albanian system of protected areas is facing numerous challenges and threats, stemming from the country’s fast development in recent years. To help address these issues, NaturAL project partner organizations and experts have...

Read more

April 16, 2019

Brochure: Achieving reduced biodiversity loss in Albania

Initiated in 2015, at the time of the establishment of the National Agency of Protected Areas of Albania, NaturAL provided a strong push and instrumental support to the improvement of management of protected areas of Albania. Four years later, it is time to reflect on its achievements. 2015 and 2019 assessments of protected areas indicate the increase of protected areas management effectiveness from 34 to 58%. The implementation rate of respective management plans...

Read more

March 25, 2019

Dajti Mountain Visitor Centre - another milestone for Albania’s Protected Areas

A new Visitor Centre is welcoming tourists and visitors at the “Natural Balcony of Tirana”, one of preferred destinations for everyone that visits the capital of Albania. “Preserving natural resources and raising awareness about the rich biodiversity of Albania is fundamental for the development of a more environmental-friendly tourism model and culture. The kind of tourism that builds on nature conservation to support sustainable...

Read more


IPA 2013 - Natura 2000 and Protected Areas
Torre Drin, 5 Floor
Tirana, Albania
Tel: +35542240880/1/2/3