Hidden cameras reveal Albania's spectacular wildlife

19 July 2013 | News story

Twenty hidden cameras placed by the IUCN wildlife monitoring team in Albania's Shebenik-Jabllanicë National Park in early June bring some exciting results: a brown bear, a wolf, a red fox, badgers, a wild cat, a European hare and a wild boar have been spotted, revealing the park’s spectacular wildlife. The camera trapping results will be used for the development of a management plan for this protected area.

Camera trapping is a technique that has been used worldwide in recent years for research and recording of wildlife presence. Its main advantages are minimal disturbance of wildlife and the possibility to confirm and prove the presence of particular species in the area. At the same time, camera trapping makes it possible to determine behaviour and activity patterns of animals. In some cases this technique can also provide quantitative information on the population of various species.

The Animal Ecology Team Experts Bledi Hoxha, PPNEA, and Francesca Pella, IUCN, held a training on this technique for the project's local collaborators and the Shebenik-Jabllanicë National Park staff. At the end of the training, cameras were set up in different sectors of the park, in order to cover the area as homogeneously as possible.

The project is now in its most exciting phase as the first pictures are being downloaded.

Purchased in the framework of the project “Institutional support for Protected Areas in Albania” funded by the Italian Development Cooperation, the cameras are helping the team to assess the presence and distribution of wildlife species in the protected area. The findings will be included in the protected area database, which is currently being developed, and will be used to prepare a management plan for the protected area, raise public awareness and to carry out long-term monitoring of wildlife in Shebenik-Jabllanicë National Park.