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.
We aim to install the Public Awareness Information Panel (at the trailhead to Cika Mountain) by the end of October. The panel is ready for printing but this schedule remains stretched and depends on the speed of the printer and the manufacturer of the wood panel. The video film will be done after.
Project 202523517 location - Albania, Europe