The beauties of the Nature park ,,Piva” were a real surprise for all participants in the workshop “Strengthening capacities for monitoring of the protected/endangered mammal species in the Nature park Piva” who visited in this protected area for the first time. The workshop was organized in the period from 5th to 7th July 2021., and the program was developed as a continuation of the previous workshop, which was held in the national park “Durmitor” in Zabljak, in September last year.
Thus, the participants of the first day of the workshop, within the theoretical part of it, had the opportunity to learn about the status of endangered mammal species in Montenegro and neighboring countries, as well as about their status in the legislation in Montenegro, mammal monitoring based on genetic analysis, how to identify traces of bears, wolves and lynx in the wild through the example of the project on estimation of the wolf population in Croatia based on an analysis of signs of presence, and finally to hear a story about the capture and telemetry studies of the Borko bear as part of the Bear in Mind project.
The second day of the workshop was mostly dedicated to the Borko, ie. his telemetry monitoring, when the workshop participants learned about operating with VHF and UHF receivers and antennas, through the search for Borko and the signal from his GPS collar throughout the nature park Piva. Along the way, the lecturers demonstrated to the participants a number of methods for recognizing and tracking the signs of the presence of large mammals for the purpose of monitoring, setting trail cameras and orientation in the wilderness. Due to technical problems, two online presentations on bat monitoring and the use of the iMammalia application for entering the data on the presence of mammals, which are planned for the second day after returning from the field, were canceled and will be held at a workshop in the national park “Sutjeska”.
The practical part of the training continued on the third day when participants had the opportunity to learn in detail about setting traps for catching bears for the purpose of equipping them with GPS collars for telemetry studies, about the functioning of the GPS collars, taking measures of captured bears, preparation of anesthetics for sleeping, and they had the opportunity to try shooting from a tranquilisation gun, which caused the greatest interest of all.
The workshop gathered participants from two protected areas in Montenegro (NP Durmitor and NP Piva), representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism in Montenegro, Forest Administration, representatives and volunteers of NGOs in the field of environment protection. The workshop was accompanied by a journalist from the Radio-Television of Montenegro who filmed the entire event for the purpose of recording a short documentary about project activities and the protection of large mammals in Montenegro. In that sense, the workshop was an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences and information, as well as to agree on future cooperation in order to improve the protection of biodiversity in the project area.
The organization of the workshop is one of the activities implemented within the project “Bear in Mind – Bringing environmental actions for biodiversity protection across borders”, funded by the European Union under the IPA Cross-border Cooperation Program Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014- 2020, which Center for Protection and Research of Birds implements in cooperation with partner organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina – Ornithological Society “Naše ptice” from Sarajevo and the Association for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development “Naša baština” from Tomislavgrad.