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Journal: International journal of ecosystems and ecology science (IJEES) (Vol.6, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ; ;

Page : 535-542

Keywords : White stork; monitoring breeding success; Southern Albania;

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The breeding success of the White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) was surveyed during the five years time 2011-2015 in the Southern region, recognised as the only breeding place of the stork in Albania. Five breeding sites have been surveyed, of which four in Vurgu field (Delvine-Sarande) and one in Drinos valley (Gjirokaster). The number of breeding pairs (HPa) fluctuates between 3 and 4 (average 3.5), the number of pairs with fledging young (HPm) between 2 and 4 (average 3), while the breeding pair occupying a nest but without fledging young (HPo) has been recorded in the year 2011 (in Vrion), and 2013 (in Çaushi). In one case, year 2012, in Finiq, a single nest visitor (HB1) was observed. The lowest number of breeding pairs with fledging young (HPm=2) was registered in year 2013, while the highest number of breeding pairs with fledging young (HPm=4) was registered in year 2014. The total number of fledged young per year in the surveyed area (JZG) fluctuates between 8 (year 2014) and 13 (year 2015), with an average of fledged young (JZm=JZG/HPm) per nesting pair of 3.63 (ranging from 1 to 5 fledging per nesting pair). Four out of five nests were located on worship buildings, such as church or monastery belfries in Çuka, Finiqi (graveyard), Vrioni and Çaushi, while the single nest in Drinos valley was built on the top of the high voltage power line, close to Viroi lake. The latter was occupied only once, in 2014, and the breeding pair could raise only one fledgling. Monitoring of breeding success in the surveyed breeding area shows that the population of the white stork in southern Albania is stable. Based on the spatial distribution and the location of nests, it is concluded that human disturbance plays a major role in breeding site selection and behaviour of the white stork in the surveyed area. Killing of single adults and taking the adults from the nests have been recorded in Vurgu field during the surveyed period. A breeding pair taken from Vurgu field is being kept in captivity in Shkodra, in one of the resorts of the city suburb. Awareness raising campaigns combined with law enforcement and construction of artificial nesting platforms in safe locations may increase the breeding success of the white stork in the southern region of Albania. Designating the Vurgu field as Specially Protected Area (SPA) as part of Natura 2000 sites in Albania, could be used as an important legal tool to safeguard the only breeding area of the white stork in Albania. Maintaining landscape composition and land-use practice in the agri-environment of Vurgu field is vital to the long-term breeding success of white stork in Albania.

Last modified: 2016-07-18 08:47:58