Following the formal approval of the new Management Plan for Pelister National Park (2021-2030) in November 2020, developed with support from PONT, the Public Institution Pelister National Park (PIPNP) has commenced the implementation of its first long-term biodiversity monitoring programme. The programme consists of three interdependent components: (a) monitoring of the conservation status of key indicator species and habitats; (b) monitoring of the outcomes of specific conservation activities (e.g. habitat management and restoration); and (c) routine and incidental monitoring of biodiversity components and the threats affecting the park.
For the first time since the proclamation of Pelister National Park in 1948, the PIPNP has set up a biodiversity monitoring group comprising park managers, officers and rangers to regularly update the field data on 23 selected species of which there are plants (4), invertebrates (7), fishes (2), amphibians (2), reptiles (5), and birds (3). The collection of data follows the guidelines for field observation, inventory and monitoring of biodiversity and the related forms adopted by the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning of the Republic of North Macedonia. These efforts will contribute to improving the quality of field data in the Natura 2000 Standard Data Form for the potential Natura 2000 site “Pelister” (MK0000010) that has been recently updated with the support from the EU Twinning Project “Strengthening the capacities for effective implementation of the acquis in the field of nature protection”.
The biodiversity monitoring in Pelister National Park is supported by external experts contracted by PIPNP through the ongoing grant by PONT (such as forest habitat management and restoration) or partnerships with non-governmental organizations supported by PONT, such as the Macedonian Ecological Society and Balkan Foundation for Sustainable Development, as well as other donors.