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NGO EnvPro successfully completed its first fieldwork trip (June 6th - 8th 2019) for research of endemic, rare and threatened species on Mountain Orjen including Iris orjenii, Scilla litardierei spp. lakusicii, Linum elegans and Salvia brachydonta. It was led by programme specialist, Mihailo Jovićević in cooperation with University Primorska expert engaged on the project, Boštjan Surina. Project partner NGO Egroup from BiH participated in order to build capacities for field assessment and conduct similar research in BiH side of Mt. Orjen. This team was joined by the donor’s (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund - CEPF) representative, Borut Rubinić, and Milja Vitorović executive director of Agency for development and protection of Orjen (protected area management body) and her colleagues.
For the latter two of the four mentioned species it was established they are distributed in the BiH side of Mountain Orjen. Scilla litardierei spp. lakusicii was sampled with the aim to be planted in the Botanical garden of Rijeka in Croatia. Thus, the focus of the fieldwork was on preliminary assessment of plant stages of Iris orjenii, in order to establish optimal dates for data collection on its populations. The data to be collected are height of stem with flowers, number of flowering sprouts et cetera, and will serve for a basic scientific description of this endemic species. Further research encompasses determination of actual number of plant individuals per each of the three populations on Mt. Orjen, since it is likely the species mostly vegetatively reproduced from one or several individuals in each population. This could potentially make Iris orjenii even more vulnerable and threatened, calling for urgent conservation measures such as detouring of current hiking trail to prevent curious hikers from picking the plant and elimination of threatening species (e.g. Juniperus sabina which can suppress Iris orjenii).