First National Inventory of IBAs for Macedonia: successful cooperation between BirdLife Partners
The first national inventory of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Macedonia has recently been produced through a partnership between the MES (BirdLife in Macedonia) and DOPPS (BirdLife in Slovenia).
This publication is the result of five years compiling and consolidating data, mostly unpublished, from the main bird conservation projects in the country over the last decade. Involving specialists in the field, the publication provides up-to-date estimations of the populations of the bird species that have been designated as priorities for conservation at European and national level, and identifies gaps in the knowledge for many others species.
Compared to previous inventories, this has more than tripled the total area of IBAs (from 1,907 km2 to 6,907 km2) and more than doubled the number of sites (from 10 to 24), covering 27% of Macedonia.
The publication also highlights that the existing network of protected areas is insufficient to protect the breeding sites of many of the priority bird species. Conservation implications of this inventory are expected to be high at a national level.
As a candidate for accession to the EU, Macedonia will be obliged to classify Special Protection Areas under the Birds Directive when it joins. And this new inventory will help identifying such areas.
The inventory partnership was enabled through the project “Wings across the Balkans”, co-financed by the European Commission and implemented by BirdLife Europe with the purpose of preparing countries in the Western Balkans at implementing the EU Birds Directive.
The success and positive outcomes of this cooperation has boosted the relationship between the two organisations. They continue to work together to deliver a better future for people and nature.