HABITATS & FAUNA

/HABITATS & FAUNA
HABITATS & FAUNA 2017-12-18T09:33:02+00:00

In the area of the study there are observed four types of habitats: the transitional wood-land shrub, the oak and coniferous forests, the Low Lands – Grasslands and Stream/river habitat (running water).

Stream/river habitat (running water)

The terrain of Mirdita District is characterized by a rich hydrographic system, with the main streams of Fani i Vogel and Fani i Madh and their tributaries as well. These streams are important habitats for animal species linked with running freshwater habitats, such as dragonflies, fish and amphibians.

The habitats of the Fan i Madh river are dominated by the types of Salix sp. and Alnus incana. The open parts of the Fan I Vogel offer good food places for the various species of water fishes such as Anguillla anguilla, Alburnoides bipunctatus, Barbus meridionalis, Salmo trutta macrostigma. Many bird species such as Luscinia megarhynchos, Motacilla alba, Motacilla cinerea, Muscicapa striata, Sylvia atricapilla, Phylloscopus sibilatrix, Upupa epops, Miliaria calandra etc, use the water habitats for reproduction, wintering or migration. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is often observed in these valley during winter migration.

Low Lands – Grass Lands Habitats

The Low Lands and Grasslands comprise arable lands and abandoned arable lands turned into grasslands. The main species of Flora in this region are:

Dactylis glomerata L,

Brachypodium pinnatum (L.)

Alyssum murale

Festuca heterophylla Lam,

Teucrium polium L.,

Aegilops geniculate

Roth,

Ononis spinosa L,

Asphodelus aestivus Brot.,

Helianthemum nummularium (L).

These lands provide habitat to a wide range of bird species and mammals such as robin, wren, larks, house sparrow, common quail, passerine, etc. and balkan blind mole, common mole, white-toothed shrew, Thomas ‘s pine vole, mice, etc.. The most common insectivores are the white-toothed shrew and Balkan blind mole.

The transitional wood-land shrub habitat

Directly affected by the mediterranean climate, the Vegetation types can range from forests to woodlands, shrublands, and grasslands. “Mosaic habitat” landscapes are common, where differing vegetation types are interleaved with one another in complex patterns created by variations in soil, topography, exposure to wind and sun. This type of habitat is widely found along the Fani valleys and the hill slopes, characterized by the Mediterranean shrubs , which are mainly evergreen shrubs such as Salix Pedicellata, strawberries Arbutus unedo and myrtle Myrtis communis, shrubs that shed their leaves and Mediterranean trees.

The fauna found in the project area is typical of the northern Mediterranean area and supports a wide range of bird and mammal species. Shrublands provide an important wintering habitat for many bird species which breed at higher altitudes and move down to scrublands to escape bad weather.

The most typical birds of such vegetation are warblers. During spring-summer seasons the macchia supports a range of species of birds, such as subalpine warbler, Olivaceous warbler, etc. During migration, Mediterranean shrubs especially near the coastal area are used as stop-over grounds for other species such as hoopoe, wryneck, blackbird, etc. A range of mammals also exploit the macchia habitat during different periods of the year. The tracks of the weasel, European polecat, fox, Eastern European Hedgehog and badger, as well as of different species of mice and voles were commonly observed during the field survey. Various bat species hunt for food over the Mediterranean macchia. Among the types of amphibians that are met more in the area, there can be singled out the Yellow-Bellied Toad, European green toad, European pond turtle, grass snake that use these habitat for housing, reproduction and food. Quite common is the presence of reptiles, such as Hermanns’ tortoise, European green Lizard, Ballkan Wall Lizard, whip snake, long-nosed viper, etc. The insects here are represented by a great number of coleopteran (beetles), hymenoptera (sawflies, wasps, bees and ants), Hemiptera, Lepidoptera (butterflies), dragonflies, damselflies.

Oak and coniferous forests

The oak and coniferous forests are found above the area of shrubs and are composed of oak forest and coniferous forests mixed with oak, hornbeam, black pine, ash tree, maple and lime tree. In this type of vegetation are included the forests with wild pine, as well as the evergreen and semi-evergreen oaks. These forests are represented by the forests with oak Quercus trojana Webb and with sumac Quercus macrolepis Kotschyi. The first ones are found in the area of Rreshen. They can be simple of composed with soft oak, Turkish oak, white hornbeam, hornbeam, ash tree etc. the most common shrubs are the juniper Juniperus oxycedrus L., thorny Paliurus spina-christi Miller, Coronilla emerus L., gorse Spartium junceum L., Prunus spinosa L., Colutea arborescens L.

These forests provide shelter for a number of birds, such as passerines, wryneck, nightjar, hoopoe, and a number of birds of prey. The pine forest hosts a number of mammals, such as badger, fox, jackal, brown bear , wolf, squirrel, edible dormice, and other rodents (wood mice) and insectivores. Reptiles, such as lizards, snakes and tortoise are common in this type of habitat. Old stands of black pine forests provide good habitat for woodpeckers and tits.