TIRANA, August 8
Shebenik-Jabllanica National Park makes one of the best and relevant habitats in Albania. The park is located in the eastern part of Albania, bordering with North Macedonia, and there it is found the biggest number and a variety of wild vegetation, bushes, and forest wood, as well as wild animals and birds. In the park’s territory, there are a rare species of trees, animals, and birds that are endangered, and the situation currently is under observation. The area of Shebenik-Jabllanica, with its favorable terrain conditions, and many geological and geographical shapes, is distinguished for the rich and very diverse flora and fauna. The main types of vegetation that we could mention are: beech, fir, oak, poplar, osier, maple, herbaceous insect-eater plant, the Dukagjin violet which is very rare and currently endangered and endemic genista.
The park is also a habitat for the brown bear, wolf, wild goat, wild pig, otter, Balkan lynx, etc. Whereas, on the fresh waters of the rivers of the park lives the brown trout. The mountains and hills of this area have almost the same height above the sea level, which are interrupted by some streams and lagoons. This has made the mountains in this area to be very steep.
The biggest park of Albania, with its total size of 339 km2, Shebenik-Jabllanica, until a few years ago was a forgotten park by the state authorities. But, thanks to the hard work of the environment specialists, forest engineers, biologists, researchers, local and foreign scientists, and especially the environmental and powerful associations/organizations, such as: PPNEA, REC Albania, Egnatia, the National Agency for Protected Areas, this park finally got the place that it deserves on the map of the most important areas of Albania and neighboring, North Macedonia.
These associations and organizations have stressed continuously on the importance of preservation and protection of the national park, requesting strongly the ban regarding the construction of hydropower plants, cutting down the trees or hunting. It is important to highlight the work of the organization Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), in collaboration with other environmental organizations in Librazhd. With their ambitious projects not only they have preserved the fauna and flora of this area, but also have urged the tourism, promoting the ecological and tourist values of the park, through the recreational and sportive activities. The most special one, is the Program for the Recovery of Balkan Lynx, a project applied by PPNEA in collaboration with the National Agency for Protected Areas. This organization has collaborated in the past with foreign biologists and scientists, such was the case of biologists from the Netherlands that stayed for a long time in Shebenik-Jabllanica.
In the social-economic context, this national park has great values, for the development of the city of Librazhd, which is the closest city to the park, as well as for the village of Rrajce. The economic activities of the area are: agriculture, farming, and forestry. The land of the park is used from the local habitants for sowing medicinal and aromatic plants, wood material and grazing of livestock. The preservation of the rich bio-diversity and the usage of sustainable development of human resources, in the long-term, are the main challenges regarding the management of Shebenica-Jabllanica National Park. Whereas, the main threats of the eco-system of the park, are: the risk of fires/arsons and illegal hunting.
Photo Credit/Wikimedia Commons
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