In order to protect the valuable and unique biodiversity of the tributaries of the Neretva: Buna, Bunica, Bregava and Trebižat, it is necessary to protect these rivers, which is why the Center for Environment will submit an official initiative to the relevant institutions.
This was concluded after research of several groups of organisms in this area (flora and vegetation, birds, bryophytes, amphibians and reptiles, butterflies, aquatic macroinvertebrates, mammals), which were conducted during 2020. The results of the research were presented in a publication presented at the Faculty Of Natural Sciences And Mathematicѕ in Banja Luka on November 11th. During the promotion, the video “4 veins of the Neretva” was shown, which looks back at the research results, but also the pressures on biodiversity that have been identified in this area.
The research was realized through the project “Steps to protect the Neretva tributaries: Buna, Bunica, Bregava and Trebizat” funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, which aims to achieve long-term protection and sustainable use of the Neretva tributaries through a combination of scientific research and advocacy. .
“The area covered by our research is one of the most important centers of biodiversity in B&H, and beyond. Given the great anthropogenic pressures we have identified in this area, the goal was to collect as much data as possible that will serve as tools for advocating the protection of these rivers,” said Dragana Kovačić Jošić, project coordinator “Steps to protect the Neretva tributaries: Buna, Bunica, Bregava and Trebižat” in the Center for Environment.
Đorđije Milanović, expert on flora and vegetation, pointed out that the flora along the Herzegovinian rivers was developed thanks to watercourses and their current water regime, and that any, even the slightest change in water regime would directly and indirectly endanger the survival of existing flora, enable its further degradation, and in some places led to the complete destruction of certain types of habitats and the flora that develops on them.
“The situation would be especially favorable for the total expansion of invasive species, whose presence is still one of the most pronounced negative factors along these rivers. Due to all that, it is necessary to prevent the construction of planned small hydroelectric power plants that have multiple negative effects and cause great damage to ecosystems and wildlife in waters and along watercourses,” Milanović warned.
Goran Topić, who conducted research on birds in this area, confirmed that there is a need to protect these valuable sites, because the great negative impact of man is irreversibly destroying the most valuable bird habitats.
“Preliminary research has significantly contributed to the knowledge of the number and distribution of a large number of species. This especially refers to the species whose nesting area is limited exclusively to the Mediterranean zone, where the tributaries of the Neretva are the best habitats for them,” explained Topić.