Within the implementation of the Project, there has been developed first site valuation of the locality Velidab, according to the TESSA Toolkit for Site Valuation. The Report on the valuation is available at: TESSA Toolkit Velidab
Following the sampling organized in May and July and the laboratory analysis in August, the team has prepared a Scientific Report comprising the state of the species at the locality (macrozoobenthos, macrophytes and benthic diatoms), as well as the primary physical and chemical parameters of the water. The Scientific Report is available at: Inventory of Velidab-EKOMENLOG
The inventorization of the living world in Velidab began as scheduled in the seventh month of the duration of the Project – August 2017. This is so, due to the fact that sampling has to be conducted during summer time when there is vegetation. The sampling has been conducted for macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and benthic diatoms.
The laboratory analysis followed in September and based on the findings it is expected that Report of the actual standing of the living world will be developed during October,
The so-called check-up sampling campaigns are scheduled every second month after August, i.e. in October 2017, December 2017 and February.
During May & July 2017, a baseline analysis of the current standing of the living world at Velidab has been conducted and prepared. In fact, the team has analyzed already obtained results regarding the flora and fauna concerning the components which have been analyzed in this Project and developed a Report of all findings in a summarized mode. This has been conducted in order for the team to be able to compare the actual findings of the fieldwork with those described in the past and to be able to develop and show trends of possible change in the living world at the site.
Field surveying has started in May 2017, the team began to develop Valuation of Velidab according to the TESSA Toolkit for Ecosystem Service: Site-Based Assessment, since understanding the impacts on ecosystem services of actual and potential changes in state at individual sites is important for promoting better planning decisions to support both biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service delivery. Until now this approach has been relatively little used because it has been assumed that ecosystem services are technically difficult and expensive to measure. This toolkit is designed to overcome this obstacle by providing practical guidance on how to identify which services may be significant at a site of interest, what data are needed to measure them, what methods or sources can be used to obtain the data and how to communicate the results.
Velidab is a slope in the shore of Lake Ohrid in Macedonia, which is nearby Koder and Gradishte (famous summer destination for tourists). This area comprises approximately 3 km2 of strictly rocky underwater habitats in the south-eastern shoreline of the lake and it is characterized by numerous sublacustric springs. According to Albrecht and Wilke (2008) Velidab (N 40°59ʹ188ʺ; E 20°47ʹ904ʺ) is rather famous for its high degree of biodiversity for different species and families, as well as for its high degree of endemism, especially for the macrozoobenthos. The place Velidab used to be known as one of the least affected by any anthropocentric impact in the past, but recent investigations prove that this place is not as unpolluted as expected.
Nevertheless, besides all these characteristics for both sides there is no conservation activity undertaken so far, but the importance for declaring them as protected areas is essential for the overall well-being of the habitats and species that inhabit these areas. The Joint Draft Report of IUCN and ICOMOS dated January 2016 lists Velidab as one of “the most important localities for conservation of the endemic aquatic biodiversity within Lake Ohrid”. The alteration of the habitats and increasing anthropocentric negative impact is increasingly affecting the entire Lake Ohrid, thus the question is not if these localities are going to suffer, but WHEN this will take place. Moreover, as it has been shown by some recent researches some degree of affection is already visible and noted at this locality as well. Therefore, the need of inventorization of the species and the prompt encouragement of the authorities to declare the place a Protected Area is evident.
Lake Ohrid, its endemism, its high biodiversity, the town of Ohrid, its historical, cultural and social characteristics have been investigated a lot… All of these are always encouraging people to research, visit and enjoy everything the area offers…. The GIZ project Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity at Lakes Prespa, Ohrid, and Shkodra/Skadar (CSBL) organized a Regional Summer School on Biodiversity and Journalism in 2016 in Ohrid where numerous of the mentioned characteristics have been tackled and published… Enjoy the video!
Lake Ohrid is famous as a museum of living fossils, mainly because of its high level of endemism, i.e. 212 endemic species (Albrecht and Wilke 2009). During past researches Velidab has been recognized as a point with highest biodiversity in the entire ecosystem, especially for macroinvertebrates. Currently, there is no conservation measure to protect the species although some of them are “critically endangered” according to the IUCN Red List. During the project`s activities there are going to be undertaken several actions: (see here)