Over 146,000 waterbirds (61 different species) were registered during 11-13 January 2019 across Albania. NaturAl project supported NAPA and AOS experts in these successful endeavor, which engaged more experts, 127 persons involved in the fieldwork and the coordination of the activity. The number of observed wetlands has also increased to 25 wetlands compared to 21 in 2018.
The official IWC 2019 was launched in Albania at the Tirana Lake in the presence of Minister of Tourism and Environment Blendi Klosi, NAPA and NaturAl project staff. At the national level, the International Waterbird Census was coordinated by NaturAl project, the National Agency for Protected Areas (NAPA) and the Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS).
All Regional Administrations for Protected Areas were involved in the census. Their staff took part directly in counting while RAPAs offered also optical equipment and vehicles to ensure better coverage of the areas under survey.Despite the small recent improvements observed during the last years, the long-term trend 1996-2019 points out a decline in the number of wintering waterbirds, the Albanian Ornithological Society confirmed.
The results show that Shkodra Lake and Divjaka-Karavasta National Park are the two most important areas for waterbirds in Albania. Over 35,000 waterbirds were registered in these two areas. The findings confirm that Divjaka-Karavasta National Park remains the wetland with the highest diversity of waterbirds being observed.
The data collected will help to identify wetlands important for waterbirds and take further conservation measures. The census was implemented in all natural wetlands in the coastal area, the biggest natural lakes, other small lakes, and different reservoirs.
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