Macedonian and Balkan Nature

Understanding UNESCO Lake Ohrid and National Park Galichica needs context. These links explain how and why they came to be so species rich with reference to the national and international scale.


1. Diversification of the Balkan Fauna: Its origin, historical development and present status: R. Ivo Savic (2009) explains the link between South East Europe’s “treasure trove of geo-history”, its plethora of habitats and climate zones, and its luxurious tapestry of flora and fauna, revealing how the region came to be so species rich.

Ivo R Savic.jpg

2. The Fifth National Report to the Convention on the Biological Diversity of the Republic of Macedonia (Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, 2014) provides a thorough introduction the country’s biodiversity, protected areas, related laws, administrative structure, conservation projects and the challenges that affect all of these.

3. Reforestation in Macedonia: History, current practice and future perspectives (Kolevska et al, 2017) walks through a century of forest replenishment efforts in the country, whose recent implementation has driven ecological awareness but been undermined by politicization, inappropriate species choices, low actualization rates and sub-optimum survival.

Fifth National CBD Report.jpg

4. Wetland Suitability and Connectivity for Trans-Saharan Migratory Waterbirds (Merken et al) incorporates human disturbance to identify conservation targets aimed at ensuring availability and connectivity of habitat for feathered friends when they travel between the Balkans and North Africa. It regards Lake Ohrid as an important node.

5. Conservationist or fashionista?: Urban dwellers’ expectations from national parks in the Republic of Macedonia (Petrova et al, 2009) is one of the few papers to analyze Macedonian attitudes to nature protection, explored through motivations for visiting National Park Pelister.

Migratory Birds, Wetlands.jpg

6. The effect of rapid social changes during post-communist transition on perceptions of the human – wolf relationships in Macedonia and Kyrgyzstan investigates how attitudes to large predators are dynamic and change according to socio-economic conditions. It indicates a lack of awareness of the ecosystem role of wolves in Macedonia compared with Kyrgyzstan.

7. Post-glacial recolonization of European biota delves into the habitat, climate and topographical variation that have allowed flora and fauna to survive in the peninsulas of South Europe when the background climate has significantly shifted. Godfrey M. Hewitt shows how these regions form a base from which species colonize northern areas.

Balkan Refugia, Hewitt.jpg

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