Wild Cat (Felis sylvestris) recorded in the Prespa National Park for the first time!

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Cdy00013(Gorica e Vogel/Korca) A monitoring survey revealed by photographing for the first time the Wild Cats (Felis silvestris) and proofing the evidence of its existence in this park. The Wild Cat was recorded in several cameras, which gives reason to consider that the vital population exists.

It will need further research to assess the population size and the distribution pattern. Eleven wildlife cameras have been distributed in the forests and pastures of the Prespa National Park in Albania. The distance between each camera was about 1.5 km.

The survey brought good results with a large and diverse number of pictures of wildlife species beside Felis silvestris, such as Martens foina (Marten), Meles meles (Badger), Vulpes vulpes (Fox), Sus scrofa (Wild Boar), Lepus europaeus (Hare), Canis lupus (Wolf) Ursus arctos (Brown Bear), Capreolus capreolus (Roe Deer) etc.. Furthermore, even though no pictures of the Balkan lynx have been recorded up to now, the existence of the lynx pray like roe deer, brown hare, red fox and marten, lead to the assumption that it is only a matter of time until the lynx appears since these animals play an important role in Balkan lynx diet. The presence of Balkan lynx prey serves as an indicator of the return of the Balkan lynx to the area in a near future.

The Association for Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), in collaboration with the administration of the Park and supported by the Ministry of Environment in Albania and KFW in Germany conducted the extensive monitoring survey with camera-trapping.

Prepared by:

Bledi Hoxha

Wildlife researcher, PPNEA

Press-Release on the Training Programme for Nature Guides for Prespa national Park, Albania

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June, 2015

Nature Guides for Prespa National Park – Interpreters of one of Albania’s most outstanding natural and cultural heritage

Prespa National Park assures the long term conservation of the specific ecosystems, of the habitats of rich flora and fauna of the Albanian parts of Prespa Lakes and surrounding cultural and mountainous landscapes as well as of remarkable cultural heritage of the region. Recently a training programme is performed which is to qualify local nature guides for interpreting the extraordinary nature values and cultural features of Prespa region to visitors. The highly motivated trainees and future PNP nature guides are looking forward to provide educational activities to local and regional school classes and youth and to guide nature lovers coming to experience the beauty of Prespa, may they be domestic or international tourists.

According to international good practice and guidelines by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) providing opportunities for nature education, nature experience and recreation are among the central objectives of a National Park. The services of nature guides are – complemented by other means such as interpretive infrastructure (e.g., visitor information centers, interpretive trails, information boards, viewpoints, and others) and printed and electronic media – considered to be indispensable and most effective to make aware, inform and educate visitors. Provided they have a sound, broad and deep knowledge on the peculiarities of a National Park and the necessary skills to deliver this to visitors in an entertaining, activating and motivating manner, interpretive guides can play an important role in making a visit to a National Park an unforgettable experience.

However, their activities reach out beyond providing intensive nature experience and delivery of information on the natural phaenomena and features, biodiversity of fauna and flora species and their habitats and on the ecosystems, the ecosystem services and undisturbed natural processes of a National Park. Nature guides further encourage active stewardship for nature and environment by responsible behaviour during the visit to the National Park, but also by influencing lifestyles of visitors towards more sustainability. The activities of interpretive nature guides can support nature conservation by educating people towards more awareness, interest, understanding and knowledge about the Prespa National Park, its nature values and the need and importance to protect and conserve them. By this, the educational activities of Prespa National Park to be performed by the now trained nature interpretive guides will contribute to environmental, ecological and nature education within the Albanian people, raise appreciation and positive attitude on Prespa National Park and conservation in general, thus, providing a service to the whole society. Last but not least, well trained nature guides will help meeting expectations of international tourists and thus contribute to a sustainable local economic and social development by direct and indirect income generating on the local level.

As part of the project “Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa – Support to the National Park Prespa in Albania”, funded by KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development for the Albanian Ministry of Environment, a Training Programme for Nature Guides for Prespa National Park is being implemented within April to August of 2015.

Together with staff of the Administration of Prespa National Park, some 17 local dwelling ladies and gentlemen, carefully selected according to their motivation, interest and previously existing supportive skills and experience, are enjoying a training curriculum considered to be unique in the respective field in terms of comprehensiveness and intensity so far in Albania. Within 20 training days blocked to 10 training units, the participants are provided with basic training on the wide range of knowledge and skills which is essential for the challenging activities of nature guides: In theory lectures complemented by practical hands on exercises and outdoor excursions they learn about basics of nature conservation, ecology, botany, zoology and cultural heritage, all with emphasis on the Prespa Lakes region. They also get basic background on designing, organizing, administrating and advertising educational activities and are trained in applied methods of nature interpretation and performing guided tours. Security aspects are taken serious, thus a two days practical training on First Medical Aid has already been provided to the future nature guides of Prespa National Park.

The trainers are high ranking Albanian scientific experts, staff of Prespa National Park and its support project and an experienced Austrian expert on nature education and National Park management, who also did the design of the training progamme.

The final examinations, ending up in awarding of official licenses for the trainees who participated successfully,

Eleven hiking trails invite visitors to experience Nature of the Prespa National Park

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harta pjesa para_ALBcompressed

Eleven hiking trails have been marked in the territory of the National Park Prespa in Albania. Visitors are welcome to experience the nature and wilderness of the mountains surrounding the both Prespa lakes.
For more information a detailed map (Albanian and English Version) is available in the headquarters of the National Park Prespa in Albania in Gorica e Vogel (Dolna Gorica).


Astragalus mayeri Micev.

Astragalus mayeri Micev
Distribution on PNP: Ivani Mt and South parts of Dry Mt.; from 1546 up to 2100 m a.s.l.

Centaurea prespana Rech. fil.

Centaurea prespana Rech
Distribution on PNP: Rocky cliffs of Mikro Prespa Lake

Centaurea galicicae Micev.

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Centaurea galicicae Micev
Distribution on PNP: Rocky cliffs of Gollomboci peninsula, Makro Prespa Lake

Edraianthus horvatii Lakušić

Edraianthus horvatii Lakušić
Distribution on PNP: The NW and Central parts of Dry Mt; from (1100-) 1500 up to 2200 m.a.s.l.

Micromeria kosaninii Šilić

Micromeria kosaninii Šilić
Distribution on PNP: The Southern slopes of Dry Mt

Sempervivum galicicum (Smith) Micev. (Syn. Sempervivum ciliosum)

Sempervivum galicicum
Distribution on PNP: Dry Mt. and Ivani Mt, from 1100 up to 2200 m.a.s.l.