Citizen science goes East

Male Red deer (Cervus elaphus) (Photo: Rollin Verlinde / Vilda)

Rollin Verlinde / Vilda

In May 2018 representatives of mammal research and conservation organisations from 10 Balkan countries will gather in Sofia, Bulgaria, to discuss possibilities to give mammal conservation in Southeastern Europe a stronger position. The meeting is part of the project ‘Building capacities in Eastern Europe‘ of The Habitat Foundation.

Biodiversity in Southeastern Europe is one of the highest in Europe, but is threatened by rapid economic developments. It is important that there are strong organizations to preserve the diversity of mammals. In addition, it is important to exchange knowledge and experience in the field of mammalian conservation. Not only for Southeastern Europe, but also for Western Europe. Think of the experience that people in Eastern Europe have with living with predators. Something that in Western Europe has to be learned again.

During the meeting the situation per country is presented and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the organisations, the mammals and the society in the country will be evaluated. Together we will discuss possibilities to help each other to improve the conservation of mammals on the Balkan. The intention of the meeting is to find issues that are in urgent need of action in all countries. For this trans-boundary action plans will be developed.

Succesful nature conservation depends heavily on the goodwill of the society for the implementation of actions and funding. Therefore the involvement of citizens in activities to protect mammals and to learn more about their needs will be one of the targets of the meeting.

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