Project involves young people from the region of Dragoman-Sofia and Slivnitza with different profile direct conservation activities, thereby increasing the level of public awareness on biodiversity conservation. Volunteers in monitoring teaching methods will be collected important information about populations of species, their distribution and status, which includes birds, tortoises and rare plants. Information will be collected by methods corresponding to the methods of the national system for biological monitoring and / or Monitoring of NATURA 2000 and the data collected will be included through the public interface of the Bulgarian Biodiversity Information System. For the purpose of the campaign will be trained by training indoors and outdoors between 30 and 99 volunteers. Methods of training will allow the involvement of both the advanced and novice volunteers. The training will be in the region of Dragoman and fieldwork will be significantly greater range reaching Blagoevgrad.
Summary of project results
The project addressed the need of raising awareness of youth about biodiversity conservation. Five thematic presentations for recruitment of volunteers were given within the project and a total of 122 people (for all three activities) enrolled in the trainings. At the end of the project the total number of volunteers trained in all three activities was 143. Data monitoring sheets for volunteers have been developed for all three activities. As a result of the conducted trainings 90 data sheets for species were filled in in the public part of National Biodiversity Monitoring System. The materials from the trainings are available on the Library section of BALKANI Wildlife Society website. Local students from Dragoman participated in the project, university students from Sofia and other volunteers interested in biodiversity. The participation of local students, future biologists, ecologists and foresters will have future benefit as there is current lack of practice in biodiversity conservation at schools and universities. Trainings were conducted in West Bulgaria between the region of Dragoman and the region of Blagoevgrad which shows a significant territory range of the activities of the project reaching a large number of people. From the very beginning of the project there was no requirement for preliminary training of the participants and the volunteers were of different age and level of knowledge. This contributed to involvement of different interested groups. Volunteers were trained to collect data for rare and protected species including birds, tortoises and plants according to the methodologies for monitoring of the NBMS. Volunteers who participated in trainings for birds and tortoises monitoring are still communicating in two Facebook groups for exchange of information and experience. Part of the volunteers were interested in continuing their participation in monitoring activities and visited places with rare plant populations apart from the project. The monitoring in the wet meadows of the “Dragoman marsh” and “Aldomirovtsi marsh” contributed to regularity of the data collected for monitoring of two very rare species Viola pumila and Fritillara meleagroides and the information will be used for preparation of assessment of their populations.
Summary of bilateral results