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Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 202523517

Strategic conservation issue for the Albanian endemic species: Cika mountain grasshopper (Peripodisma ceraunii)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 202523517) - Cika mountain grasshopper - Awarded $7,750 on May 05, 2020

The global target is the Cika Mountain Grasshopper (CR) conservation planning (Target 2019-3 of the Grasshopper Specialist Group) with a sustainable implementation of an optimal management of the habitat.

This global target requires the strong involvement of Albanian people. A first action covered by another grant (SSC internal grant) was the training of the Albanian team (2 persons) to be able to monitor the species in the field, to link with stakeholders and to share with them a conservation plan in accordance with the IUCN SSC recommendations. This has been done end of July 2020, adapted to the Covid constraints (more video meeting exhanges, trained Albanian team extended to 5 persons).

Once trained, the Albanian team has performed expeditions in different parts of Cika Mountain chain, along Agust and beginning of September 2020 (optimal period to observe adults of this grasshopper: Peripodisma ceraunii). 

A total of 23 stations has been studied and the abundance of populations has be measured. In parallel, data have been collected concerning the characteristics of current pastoralism on this mountain chain. Positive contacts have been taken with some herders of the site.

During winter: collect of data of pastoralism have been finalized through a meeting with all active herders of this area.

In May 2021, we organised a workshop with stakeholders.The workshop attendees (total of 19 persons) was composed of experts, local management institutions, herders community, plant collectors and tour guides and the objective of this workshop was to think on how to make recommendations on the monitoring of the species, managing the threatening factors of the species populations and improving the habitat conditions. This workshop was a demonstration of the excellent cooperation between the shepherds, the collectors of medicinal plants and state institutions. Now all the information issued from this workshop about the endemic species Peripodisma ceraunii is an added value for RAPA Vlora which is added on the list of endemic species and will be accompanied by the action plan of the species, and will remain in the hands of local actors who, through continuous cooperation between them, will ensure its protection in the long terms.

In June 2021, we drafted the conservation plan, which will be refined and shared again in September after the summer studies.

During the summer 2021 expeditions, we did not collect more relevant information concerning the occupancy of the species, compared to our 2020 results. But this period was also the opportunity to consolidate the relationship with the stakeholders for this conservation issue.

During the summer of 2021, species and habitat were filmed, and some actors have been interviewed and filmed, in order to collect rushes for the public awareness video film.

At end of September 2021, two of the 3 phases are completed: Workshop for conservation plan (completed in May) and In-situ conservation work and monitoring. The last phase is in progress: Communication, Public awareness.

At end of November, the Public Awareness Information Panel (at the trailhead to Cika Mountain) has been installed. In addition, we have also installed a poster for the visitor center of Llogara. Environmental education with children for species in Llogara, including P.ceraunii has started, managed by Endora.

The Conservation plan has been finalized and approved. It has been written in two versions, English and Albanian, and under print in 4 copies for the Regional Administration of Protected Area and Llogara National Park.

A video film has been done (duration 30 mn) in the two versions, broadcasted in .mp4 and through YouTube: https://youtu.be/UuOHBA_i6Ok (English) and https://youtu.be/pbPl1IBJFc8 (Albanian).

One short extract of 3mn in English for the Llogara Park information center has been also done: https://youtu.be/L83JnB-dEIk

The 2 April 2022, we made a presentation of this project at the ECOCIII conference (European Congress of Orthoptera Conservation):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJD0hAJUPJs

We would like to thanks all stakeholders involved for their implication, dynamism and open mindedness. We are confident that the action plan drawn up and shared together will be seriously applied over the next years.

According to a law concerning the boundaries of National Park, (Decision No. 59, dated 26 January 2022 "REGARDING THE APPROVAL OF THE CHANGE OF STATUS AND BOUNDARIES OF NATURAL NATIONAL PARK ECOSYSTEMS (CATEGORY II) OF PROTECTED ENVIRONMENTAL AREAS"), the boundaries of National Park of Llogara have been modified (https://kryeministria.al/newsroom/vendime-te-miratuara-ne-mbledhjen-e-keshillit-te-ministrave-date-26-janar-2022/). Previously 1010 ha, the National Park extends over 1792 ha and includes the area of Mount Qorre and Mount Çika. The management is under the administration of AdZM Vlore (Regional Administration of Protected Area). The area of occurence of the grasshopper is now mainly included in the Park. So, our conservation plan is integrated within action plans of the National Park. We are confident concerning the future of this species.

Project documents