Upper reach of Vjosa river (Photo: Adrian Guri)
Between June 13th-15th, the GEO Days of Biodiversity took place at the Vjosa River in Albania. This unique event was organized by the NGOs Riverwatch, Euronatur and PPNEA (Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania) in cooperation with the German GEO Magazine. Approximately 70 participants were engaged in three days of field camp: biodiversity experts, student volunteers, journalists, celebrities and mayors of municipalities within the Vjosa basin (Tepelena, Qesarat, Memaliaj). The activities was captured by a professional photographic team in order to record the scientific activities and findings.
Of the more than 400 species identified, ten percent are either rare or endemic and are listed in the IUCN or Albanian Red Lists. Key findings included first records of species for both Albania and the Balkan Peninsula: the spider Devade tenella was first sighted on the Balkan Peninsula and eleven spider species were first recorded as part of the Albanian spider fauna. The second only sighting of a Myotis bechsteinii bat colony as well as rare bird species, which nest and breed in the Vjosa valley, were documented and are amongst the most impressive results.