and Euronatur - European Nature Heritage Foundation
- To provide a georeferenced database of species distribution in the study area, with special focus on the part of the area that is under no protection status.
- To assess different microhabitats of Aoos’ catchment in terms of their ecological value for the target species.
- To assess potential pressures and threats for the species.
- To crystalize research findings into concrete conservation objectives
Camera trapping of terrestrial large mammals (brown bear, grey wolf, roe deer and wild boar)
Sampling survey for field signs of the European otter
Line transect survey for Odonata species
The Vjosa/Aoos river still flows freely from the Pindus mountains in Greece, to the river mouth in Albania largely without artificial obstacles. The river stretches for 270km in total and 70km are flowing within the Greek area. Downstream of the Pigai dam in Greece (10km from the springs of Aoos), the river is near natural, representing all types of river ecosystems, including canyon sections, braided parts and meandering stretches. In Greece the protected area, that partly includes river Aoos, belongs to the Northern Pindos National Park. The existing National Park is already protecting 50kms of Aoos’ river stretch, leaving nearly 20km of the river unprotected, towards the GR-AL borders (see Map 1). At the same time one of the major tributaries, Voidomatis (15km
long) is included in the existing National Park, leaving 6km of the tributary unprotected, towards the GR-ΑL borders. Another major tributary, river Sarantaporos (50km long), stretches under no protection zone, from its springs until its confluence with Aoos, right upon the GR-AL borders. Voidomatis and Sarandaporos rivers are the main tributaries of Aoos. Voidomatis meets up with Aoos in the plain of Konitsa, and Sarandaporos joins them right on the Greek-Albanian border. Through this year’s biodiversity research, we aim to increase the biodiversity knowledge for the unprotected area of the Aoos river basin, in order to further support the efforts of the campaign for the expansion of the Aoos’ protected area towards the GR-AL borders, in a way that will include the unprotected stretches of Aoos and its major tributaries (Voidomatis, Sarantaporos). The present study is focusing on insect species related to water (Odonata), as well as on large mammals, either directly related to the riverine ecosystems (otter) or indirectly (carnivores and ungulates).
Large mammal photos: @M. Petridou. Otter: @ I. Theodoropoulos. Odonata: N.Mpoukas