TIRANA, February 24 / ATA / – Even though the moratorium is still in force, illegal hunting and trapping has increased and intensified significantly. From the field observations it is observed that illegal hunting is practiced mainly over weekends (especially on Sundays) and the first hours of the morning and during the night. This is the time when law enforcement authorities do not have enough surveillance over the territory, which is best used by poachers. The illegal hunting is evidenced throughout the country, even inside protected areas, be those lowland wetlands or mountain ecosystems. Even protected and endangered species in the Red List of fauna in Albania are heavily hunted, such as, birds of prey, roe deer, wolf, wild boar.
The most problematic areas are the coastline wetlands such as the Patoku Lagoon in Lezha district, the Fllaka wetland nearby Durresi, the Viluni Lagoon in Shkodra district, wetland areas Vjosa-Narta in the Vlora region where just during the last weeks the hunters’ area has doubled.
The same problematic situation is present in mountainous areas as well, especially in the Puke-Mirdite region, where the latest report was evidenced in the Munella mountains, in North Albania bordering the districts of Puka and Mirdita. There were found traces of illegal hunters and hunting signs. According to old literature accounts, Munella, is home to important faunal elements, including Brown Bears, Wild Boars, Capercaillie, Martens and was considered as one of the few sites in Albania with remaining old-growth virgin forests.
Only during the last two months 1507 cases of illegal hunting have been evidenced and documented by PPNEA and ASPBM organizations and it is expected that these cases will dramatically increase in the coming period, especially because of decrease of temperatures that will cause the gathering of large groups of winter birds in the wetland areas.
Munella Mountain is composed mainly by effusive volcanic rocks (up to 1300 – 1400 m) that are topped by a limestone plaque. Munella forms the highest point of a chain with a direction from NE to SW and when seen from a distance it resembles a tooth, rising up from the lower surrounding hilly areas. Munella is known to be very rich in mineral resources, particularly with copper, but also other minerals like chromium, quartz, aluminium.
The highest limestone-part of the mountain has an alpine-like character with very steep slopes; however the top of the mountain is a plateau with many carstic holes and funnels. Munella is located between Big Fan and Little Fan rivers – both tributaries of Mati River and they form the natural geographical border of the mountain massif. The broad vegetation belts are oak and pines (600 to 1100 m), beech (1100 – 1600 m) and above this altitude there are rocks with scarce conifers. The top plateau has very good alpine pastures.
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