Zen Recreations

Ornithology and Research Andrej Vizi

Posts tagged with “Montenegro”

  Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 8:02pm by Andrej Vizi

A Sustainable Development Challenge

The largest freshwater lake of Balkans is famous for its well-preserved nature, astonishing landscapes, mesmerizing history and traditional architecture, as well as one of a kind cuisine. Infamous, at least to my perception, for the inconsistent and largely non-existent management - the lake of this size and value is a big bite for developing nature protection system. The fact that Skadar Lake belongs to two countries, Montenegro, and Albania, additionally complicates the establishment of solid, conservation-oriented management, essential for the appetites of fast emerging construction and tourism industry.


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Skadar Lake is the biggest lake on the Balkan Peninsula, a transboundary wetland of international importance shared by Montenegro and Albania. The lake hosts a small breeding colony of Dalmatian pelicans (Pelecanus crispus), one of the largest birds in the world and classified as Vulnerable at an international level. Since the 17th century, 80% of the Dalmatian Pelican’s breeding sites have disappeared, and today, its presence in Europe is limited to only 13 wetlands in the Balkans and the Caucasus.

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“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” – a quote that often occurs to us when we already break something!

So, the pelicans at Skadar Lake have been doing quite well in last three years – once at the verge of extinction, our pelicans have managed to maintain good reproductive success, mainly because of the new  solid breeding platform built for them in 2014.

However, this structure proves to be interesting not only to these giants: on several occasions this December, our surveillance camera has spotted at least two otters (Lutra lutra) snooping around the pelican colony. This raft essentially represents the only patch of solid ground in the area, at least in winter, so no wonder that different species are attracted to it. Right now, when the pelicans aren’t breeding yet, it’s not a big deal



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