From 30.09. to 02.10.2020. year, the Center for Protection and Research of Birds organized a workshop dedicated to capacity building for monitoring of protected/endangered species of mammals, which was held in Zabljak, in the national park “Durmitor".
The organization of the workshop is one of the activities implemented within the project “Bear in Mind – Bringing environmental actions for biodiversity protection across the borders", which is funded by the European Union under the IPA Cross-border Cooperation Program Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014 – 2020, which CZIP 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. The aim of the workshop is to strengthen the capacity and support the improvement of specific skills of protected area administartions, representatives of the non-governmental sector in the field of environmental protection, as well as representatives of state and local institutions working on biodiversity protection in the project area.
The workshop program was entirely dedicated to the monitoring of large mammals, and divided into theoretical and practical part. Thus, the participants of the first day of the workshop, after the presentation of the project “Bear in Mind" by the project coordinator Jasmin Murić, listened to lectures and presentations by Dr. Slaven Reljić from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb and project coordinator-mammologist from the Center for Protection and Research of Birds Aleksandar Perović on the status of large mammals in legal and strategic documents in Montenegro, recognition and recording of signs of bears and wolves for monitoring purposes, as well as on the ways and methodology for drafting the Monitoring Protocol for large mammals.
The participants spent the second and third day of the workshop in the field where they learned through practical application about setting photo traps and finding signs of the presence of large beasts (bears and wolves), and their marking and storage, then setting traps for wolves and bears, immobilization of captured animals with a blower and a tranquilization gun (exercise on a cardboard model), a description of measurements and sampling according to the prescribed pattern and the marking of the captured individual with a telemetry collar and monitoring using a VHF antenna.
The third day of the workshop was partly used to visit photo traps and collect photos and videos from them, which were previously set up by CZIP representatives to monitor the presence of brown bears in certain locations within the protected areas of NP Durmitor and NP Piva, as part of the capture process of one individual for marking with a GPS transmitter for the purpose of telemetry studies.
As a result of the work on setting traps within the workshop, one of the brown bears was caught in one of them, which was marked with a collar with a GPS transmitter and whose movement is continuously monitored for scientific purposes, primarily to obtain data that will be used to create Management plan for this species for the area of NP Durmitor and NP Piva, which further confirms the success of the workshop.
As part of the “Bear in Mind" project, organization of another workshop on mammal monitoring is planned, which will be held in the “Piva" nature park.