The 52nd International Waterbird Census took place on 13 and 14 January 2018 on 20 sites across Albania, led by Wetlands International and supported by the EU funded project NaturAl with its partners the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, the National Agency for Protected Areas, AICS Tirana and IUCN.
From the wetland complex of Kune – Vain, project partners launched the Waterbird Census 2018 on 13 January 2018 at 11h, in Kune – Vain, Lezhë. Mr. Pjetër Toni, Director of Regional Administration in Lezhë welcomed the guests and Mr. Blendi Klosi, Minister of Tourism and Environment gave an opening speech, followed by local and international experts.
During the two days experts from Albania, Italy and France combined their skills and efforts to monitor and count wintering birds across Albania's wetlands. Monitoring took place on Prespa, Ohrid and Skadar lakes in cooperation with monitoring teams from Greece, Macedonia and Montenegro respectively. Cross-border cooperation is a key component of the Census, which will be ensured through coordinated action with bordering states. Results of the monitoring will be available by the end of February 2018.
Wetlands are the most important habitats for migratory birds. Spending summers in Europe, the birds move to warmer wintering places in the south by the Mediterranean Sea and in Africa. Many of them rest in Albania and along the Adriatic coast on their way to the African shore, creating the so called Adriatic Flyway. The Narte Lagoon is known as one of the most important wintering sites for many bird species, most abundant being ducks (Anas sp.) and Coot (Fulica atra). Divjaka-Karavasta is a home of the rare Dalmatian Pelican (Pelicanus crispus Bruch), hosting 5% of the world's population of this species. Kune-Vain, Patok, Lalzi bay, Velipoje are other important wetlands for migratory birds, such as Herons (Fam. Ardeidae), Ducks (Anserids) and Waiders of many different species.
For more information about the Census go here.
For results of the Census visit the Albanian Ornithological Society FB page.
To watch the TopChannel Exclusive video about the census go here.
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