Bird identification course organized for second time within 2015 in Albania


photo: Mirjan Topi

Due to the high interest in the pilot bird identification training held in May 2015 in Albania, in December 4-7th a second course on this topic was organized by the Association for Protection and Preservation of the Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) and the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) / BirdLife Bulgaria. The event was held in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park and implemented in the framework of the MAVA project "Wetland management and Dalmatian Pelican Conservation in the Mediterranean Basin", in collaboration with the CEPF project “Land of Eagles and Castles: Pilot Sustainable Tourism Model for the Albanian Adriatic Coastline”.


The course was focused at beginners in bird identification, and aiming to increase capacity of people dealing with eco-friendly tourism, rangers in nature reserves and national parks, from environmental NGOs, and students in these fields. The course was taught by a lecturer from the BSPB, it consisted of four days theory and field trips around the National Park, and was attended by 14 trainees (about twice more than in the previous training). Lectures were focused on wetland birds, many of which were demonstrated during the field trips. Techniques for bird monitoring, data collection and data storing were important component of the training as well. For only 4 days, trainees identified thousands of wetlands birds from dozens of species and at the end of the training they demonstrated their ability to implement wetland bird census alone as well as in a team.


Albania is a relatively small country, but shelters high diversity of habitats and birds. Although 355 avian species have been registered so far there, many more could be found through more intensive field surveys and there are substantial gaps in the knowledge on bird numbers and dynamics.  The two bird identification trainings hold in 2015 by PPNEA and BSPB are important steps towards the increased awareness in nature conservation, promotion of ornithological work and birdwatching, and building capacity for biodiversity monitoring in the local stakeholders along the Adriatic coast in Albania.

Albania, education, Land of Eagles and Castles, Dalmatian Pelican