Inclusion of local community in the process of protection and advancement of habitat of Skadar lake frog (Pelophylax shqipericus) in the delta of river Bojana

as a key species of biodiversity and an indicator of aquatic habitat quality

Bojana river delta area is of great ecological importance as a rare natural river delta and one of the most important natural and semi-natural wetlands of the eastern Mediterranean, characterized by a very diverse complex of unique and endangered natural and cultural landscapes, habitats and species. It is recognized as a Key biodiversity area (KBA) due to its significance in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The Skadar green frog, Pelophylax shqipericus occuring in this area is of particular interest for conservation due to its endangered status (EN) on IUCN, and also since it is an endemic species of the southwest coast of the Balkan Peninsula. It is a key species of biodiversity and an indicator of aquatic habitat quality, and KBA Delta Bojana has a significant percentage of the global population of this species.

Scientific knowledge indicates that the main threats to the survival of these populations are: drainage of aquatic habitats, regulation of rivers by construction of canals and dykes, conversion of small waters into ponds, habitat fragmentation and habitat pollution by wastewater and biocides due to agricultural development etc. Hence, the objective of this project is raising awareness of the local community and the public about the importance and benefits of conservation of a unique biodiversity and increase in ecological and operational knowledge on sustainable use of aquatic habitats that interested parties can implement.

The project is led by NGO Montenegrin ecological society (MES) with project partners NGOs EnvPro and Mogul. The donor of the project is Critical ecosystem partnership fund (CEPF), and project duration is from February 1st 2019 to August 1st of 2021.