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 NGO 'Wild Rodopi' is, therefore, to gather data about the geographical and altitudinal distribution of wildlife species in the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains. We are, therefore, undertaking a variety of long-term wildlife recording and monitoring programmes to gather data about the flora and fauna which, over time, will hopefully help to assess the on-going impact of environmental and social changes on the distribution of flora and fauna in the region.