Measures for protection of the Albanian water frog in the Vlora Bay
The Albanian Water Frog (Pelophylax shqipericus) is an endemic species of the Balkans, with a natural spread in Albania and Montenegro, starting in the north from Shkodra Lake, continuing along the coastline to the area of Vlora (Orikum) in the south.
The lack of a conversation and management plan prompted our ignition to take a step towards studying and drafting a management draft for the albanian frog (Pelophylax Shqipericus). The study was conducted in the Vlora bay area which is considered a key area for biodiversity.
There is an international concern about its status due to the lack of a specific document (action plan , management or regulatory document) for the preservation of the Albanian frog (Pelophylax Shqipericus). It is classified as an endangered species according to IUCN criteria since 2004 and also protected by the Bern Convention.
A series of meetings with local actors were held in cooperation with the Regional Administration of Protected Areas, Vlorë at the Visitor Center in Radhima where was discussed about detailed document as well as further steps on how to implement the proposed measurements. The meetings took place on June 29 and July 7-8, 2020, with the local institutions, local NGOs, farmers and tour operators in the municipality of Vlora.
The Albanian Water Frog is an endemic species of the Balkans that it is found only on the Adriatic bay starting from Ulcinj in Monte Negro to Vlora Bay in Albania. She palys an important role in the ecosystem ensuring the balence on the food chain, helping Protects agricultural crops.
It plays a very important role in the ecosystem by providing balances in the food network, helping to protect crops from pest invertebrate populations, nutrient circulation and serving as an indicator of the quality of the environment in which it is found.
But due to habitat loss, agricultural intensification and illegal collection, the Albanian Frog population is endangered (listed in the IUCN red list) and the need to take measures to preserve it is immediate.
EcoAlbania has started the field work on the Albanian water frog (Pelophylax shqipericus) species’ distribution, ecology and its population status in Vlora Bay.
During this phase there are being collected data about the species and its habitats, that will serve as basis for drafting the Species Action Plan – a policy paper for the conservation of the Albanian water frog in Albania.
The Albanian water frog (Pelophylax shqipericus) is an endemic species to the Balkans and primarily found only in western Albania and southern Montenegro, where it inhabits ditches, freshwater marshes, and the heavily vegetated shorelines of lakes and rivers. It has been found to live in some areas of the Vlora Bay.
Internationally, there is significant concern for the status of the species due to a decline in its population and the degradation of its habitat. It is presently listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List and it is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention. Albania has so far, no specific management plan for the conservation of this species. #CriticalEcosystemPartnershipFund
Vlora Bay is a high priority Key Biodiversity Area where elements of biodiversity (i.e. threatened species and ecosystems) are combined. This ecosystem is known for its great aesthetic value, distinguished for its particular natural integrity, and ecological equilibrium. Of the 46 species reported on the Albanian coast, 32 of them can be found in Vlora Bay. Taking into account the Red List of Albania’s Fauna too among 220 species of marine fauna included in this list, around 160 species (75%) are reported to be found in Vlora Bay.
EcoAlbania with the support of CEPF – Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is implementing the project “Conservation actions for the Albanian water frog (Pelophylax shqipericus) in Vlora Bay”, with the aim conservation of “Albanian water frog” in the Vlora Bay by assessing the current situation, threats and the necessary conservation measures to the Albanian water frog in Vlora Bay and engaging local stakeholders in conservation actions for the Albanian water frog in the Vlora Bay.
A knowledge exchange visit was organized on 26th of June 2019 in Ulcinj with the Montenegrin Ecologist Society (MES). The aim of the visit was to get the “know-how” from Montenegrin colleagues on the species monitoring and conservation efforts. In this study visit, project staff together with biodiversity expert as well as the ranger of RAPA Vlore attached to the project, get to know more about the species and its habitats requirements and get more information about the species state in Ulcinj area, MNE.
Ms. Katarina Ljubisavljević, from MES explained their work on conservation and on awareness raising. Involving local and especially small kids in species monitoring has played a great role on species knowledge and conservation. “Colorful” public activities of awareness raising are taking place every year where the CR endangered Albanian waterfront species is the main topic. Kids love the species and the nice stories we create around the green little lovely creature” – she said.
The study tour was followed by a visit into the occupied habitats of the Albanian water-frog in surroundings wetlands of Ulcinj close to seaside.
EcoAlbania has recently stared her work on the preservation of the Albanian waterfrog in Albania, focusing on the Vlora bay, in gathering data on the species distribution and preparing the species action plan. This visit helps the staff to implement some similar activities as well as to build more cooperation bridges for the protection of the Albanian waterfrog.
The Albanian water frog (Pelophylax shqipericus) is and endemic species and lives in some areas of the Vlora Bay in Albania. Internationally, there is significant concern for the status of the species due to a decline in its population and the degradation of its habitat. It is presently listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List and it is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention. Albania has, so far, no specific management plan for the conservation of this species.