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Wildlife Conservation & Research

 

Wildlife conservation requires the establishment of baseline species inventories. These enable researchers to identify species distribution, assess habitat suitability, and determine the viability of local and regional populations. Such inventories also provide the foundation for long-term monitoring programmes and offer vital data for the assessment of species richness and vulnerability. They are pre-requisites for implementing any taxon-specific wildlife conservation policy or management programme, such as the Natura 2000 directive, and can also provide the most reliable indicators for assessing the effects of global environmental change on biodiversity. 

For many parts of the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains, the current state of baseline species inventories and data is still often inadequate, particularly remoter areas such as those within the border zone. Furthermore, for certain taxa, the data that does exist frequently comprises old historical records which have not been recently reconfirmed and verified.

One of the fundamental objectives of Wild Rodopi is to help collect data as part of an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory for the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains. We have also set up and initiated a variety of long-term research projects and monitoring programmes that over time will assess the impact of the environmental and social changes taking place in the region.

The other key part of Wild Rodopi's mission is to help preserve the traditional way of life and knowledge of the local people in the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains, acknowledging the key role that local customs, agriculture, forestry, architecture and traditional ecologogical knolwedge (TEK) have had in shaping its landscapes and habitats, helping to make the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains one of Europe's richest regions in terms of both biodiversity and rural heritage. Wild Rodopi, therefore, initiates and supports a variety of ethnological research projects connected with local handicrafts, folk dance and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK).