The ”Bear in Mind” project is entirely designed to tackle biodiversity protection of the cross-border region between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, thus protecting its species as well as ensuring the health of sites’ ecosystem values, especially important forests as a significant climate mitigation factor. Having this in mind, as well as the fact that in the past period we have organized eight educational workshops to strengthen capacities when it comes to monitoring of protected and endangered species of birds and mammals and provided valuable equipment for field activities and monitoring to administrative units of four protected project areas, it was the right time for a step further when it comes to conducting quality biodiversity monitoring.
Monitoring protocols for eight threatened bird species that are all indicators of the three main characteristic ecosystem types of the four project areas have been designed. By monitoring the populations of these eight species of birds, a possibility for assessing the state of the health of each of the three ecosystem types within the areas will be created. The regular assessment and calculated population trends, distribution patterns and other parameters of the selected eight species are also the only relevant means based on which the managers can obtain the essential information about whether their management measures have any positive effects on nature and species conservation.
The three main ecosystem types prevailing in the four project areas (Durmitor NP, Piva Nature Park, Blidinje Nature Park and Sutjeska NP) and the indicative bird species proposed to be monitored in order to follow the effects of the management measures in each of the ecosystem types are:
a) Coniferous and mixed forests
1) Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus
2) Hazel Grouse Bonasa bonasia
3) Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus
4) Eurasian Pygmy Owl Glaucidium passerinum
5) Ural Owl Strix uralensis
6) Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus
b) Beech forests
1)White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos lilfordii
2) Ural Owl Strix uralensis
c) Open grasslands and rocky habitats
1) Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca
The selected species are commonly in the focus of monitoring surveys in many EU countries as they are Annex I species and as such criteria species for many Special Protection Areas (SPA), the part of the conservation network Natura 2000 designated within the EU for conservation of birds and their habitats.
The selected eight species of birds are among the most representative members of animals of this and wider Dinaric mountainous area, and their presence and healthy populations are among the best indicators of the viability of nature and natural processes in these areas. At the same time, none of them have been regularly monitored so far. Establishing a long-term monitoring system will therefore set a milestone in efficient ecosystem-species-based nature conservation of these areas. It will be an efficient tool for the managers of the four areas and the results can be used to efficiently demonstrate the nature and hopefully the effectiveness of their management.
You can download the Monitoring protocols on English and B&H/MNE language here: