Trans-boundary meeting of the Osogovo large carnivores monitoring network members

The trans-boundary meeting of the Osogovo large carnivores monitoring network members took place on the 17th of March 2017 in the city of Makedonska Kamenica, Macedonia. The meeting was held as part of the activity “Improve knowledge about large carnivores in Osogovo as a foundation for decision-making processes” in the framework of the project Supporting a Sustainable Future for People and Nature in the Osogovo Mountain.
The meeting aimed at supporting the exchange of experience as well as facilitating the cooperation between the members of the monitoring network from Bulgaria and Macedonia. The participants were acquainted with the monitoring results until the present moment.
Associate professor Diana Zlatanova from the Zoology and Anthropology department of the Faculty of Biology, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and Aleksander Stoyanov, large carnivores expert from the Macedonian Ecological Society, made presentations related to the strategy and methodology applied for the monitoring.
More than 35 people took part in the meeting. The participants represented various stakeholder groups:  forestry units, hunting societies, border police departments and NGOs active on the territory of Osogovo. The project team members from the two partnering organizations - the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and the Macedonian Ecological Society - also took part in the event.
The field trip to the border peak Siva Kobila was the main attraction of the event. During the excursion some of the monitoring activities implemented by the Hunting society “Makedonska Kamenica – Sasa” were presented. The trip also provided possibility for exchange of experience in relation to the work with photo-traps and collection of other data showing the presence of wild animals in the region.
Another topic discussed during the meeting concerned the ways for improving the trans-boundary communication and coordination of the monitoring network.