The Dutch Mammal Society, assisted by the association for Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), with the local support of the Regional Administration of Protected Areas – Elbasan has implemented an ecological summer camp in the Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park entitled "Methods and techniques for monitoring and inventory of mammals”. The main aim of the ecological summer camp was to carry out an assessment of the current situation of small mammals in Shebenik Jabllanice National Park and to extend and exchange knowledge and share experiences.
The camp was leaded by more than twenty Dutch researchers and it was attended by Dutch students and young professionals from Albania, which received high quality of training. The ecological summer camp covered the major part of the National Park and it lasted for ten days.
Several well known methods and techniques such as general observations by sight, life trapping, tracks, camera traps, bat detector and mist netting, have been applied during the training in order to identity all the species that are present at the National Park. The camp resulted to be very successful, and fascinating results have been obtained from the collaborative work of Albanian and Dutch researchers in the field, where besides confirming the presence of bears, wolves, lynx, roe deer, chamois and other big mammals in the area, in only ten days participants were able to identify the presence of various species such as: 36 mammals, 9 amphibians, 10 reptiles, 97 birds, 22 dragonflies 58 butterflies and 10 grasshoppers.
The camp ended within a ceremony that was held at Hasa Hotel, Fushe Studen, Librazhd, where all the results obtained were presented. The ceremony it was attended by high level representatives of the government, relevant governmental authorities of protected areas and local communities.
The visitors were impressed by exploring these amazing places and pointed out that, Shebenik-Jabllanica National Park offers a variability of nature which can be a big attraction for the tourism in general.
This initiative fits on the commitment and mission of PPNEA for building new capacities in the country through involving young motivated professionals, as a mean to enhance long term nature conservation in Albania.