WHY VELIDAB, WHAT IS VELIDAB???

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.

 

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