The Center for Environment has presented the publication “Biodiversity of the Buna, Bunica, Bregava and Trebižat” and the research results on the biodiversity of these tributaries of the Neretva on October 26th, 2021, at the Faculty of Forestry in Sarajevo.
The publication was created within the project “Steps to protect the tributaries of the Neretva: Buna, Bunica, Bregava and Trebižat” funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). The project aims to achieve long-term protection and sustainable use of these tributaries of the Neretva through a combination of scientific research and advocacy activities.
“The Neretva River, with its tributaries, and the entire catchment area, are recognized as one of the most important centers of biodiversity in B&H and beyond. The importance of the rivers covered by our project for human life in the sub-Mediterranean karst through which they flow can neither be measured nor sufficiently expressed. In addition, these rivers and research areas are habitats of many plant and animal species, and because of all this there is a need to protect a wider area of the studied flows. This is exactly what the research we conducted and the mentioned publication will contribute to, “said Dragana Kovačić Jošić, project coordinator.
The project engaged experts who in 2020 conducted research on several groups of organisms in this area (flora and vegetation, birds, bryophytes, amphibians and reptiles, butterflies, aquatic macroinvertebrates, mammals), and the results of the research are summarized in this publication, which will be used for advocacy and promotional activities, as well as being available to relevant institutions, the general public, the professional and scientific community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the media, local communities and other relevant actors.
“A total of 25 species of amphibians and reptiles were recorded, of which 8 species of amphibians and 17 species of reptiles. Field research has established the presence of two vulnerable species according to the Red List of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely the Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni (Gmelin, 1789)) and the European ratsnake (Zamenis situla (Linnaeus, 1758)). As is the case worldwide, amphibians and reptiles are among the most vulnerable groups of animals in B&H. In the investigated area of the rivers Buna, Bunica, Bregava and Trebižat, anthropogenic impacts have been recorded that directly affect the habitat and populations of amphibians and reptiles in this area and pose a threat to their long-term survival. ” pointed out Saudin Merdan, who conducted research on these groups of organisms through the project.
During the promotion, the video “4 veins of the Neretva” was shown, which was recorded during the research and looks back at the research results, but also the pressures on biodiversity that we have identified in this area.
As a general conclusion, urgent protection of space is needed in terms of combating illegal construction and exploitation of watercourses in order to expand tourist capacity, construction of facilities in the area of water resources, making illegal sanitary outlets in the Trebižat watercourse without any prior treatment, as well as forest and stone exploitation near the watercourses in question. Special attention should be paid to disrupting the functionality of aquatic ecosystems by building hydropower facilities. Also, these rivers are the habitat or possible habitat of otters and water shrews, which are strictly protected species according to regulations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also international regulations. Numerous species of bats come out of their shelters every night and feed on a multitude of insects that swarm along the mentioned tributaries of the Neretva. All this is one ecosystem, firmly intertwined with numerous relationships between living and non-living nature, “said Dejan Radošević, who is engaged in mammal research.
The video “4 veins of the Neretva” can be watched on the Youtube channel of the Center for Environment, and the publication with the results of the research on the Center’s website (https://czzs.org/multimedia/publikacije/biodiverzitet-i-zasticena-podrucja/).