In November 2018, Sofia Capellan and Ivan Ramirez from BirdLife International conducted a field trip aimed at using Natura Alert App and the Important Bird Area (IBA) monitoring form to collect data on threats in the Iori River IBA, where a new landscape restoration project will revitalise the steppe-riverine ecosystem, while enabling local pastoralists to manage the land sustainably in the long-term. Despite the area’s protected status, habitats have been degraded by inefficient land-use practices, resulting in biodiversity loss and a decrease in the land’s ability to support livestock.
The workshop brought together 13 representatives from Doga Dernegi (Turkey), ArAves (Armenia), Towards Sustainable Ecosystems (TSE, Armenia), Azerbaijan Ornithological Society (AOS; Azerbaijan), Society for Nature Conservation (SABUKO, Georgia), Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB, Bulgaria) as well as BirdLife International. It provided an opportunity to discuss and better understand the data and needs of the region. Further, it presented an ideal frame to discuss the collaboration between the partners on IBA management in the Caucasus region and to get a better understanding of the conservation strategies developed as well as to find synergies for future work.
During the workshop, the newly developed Natura Alert App along with the IBA monitoring form were used by the workshop participants to collect info on observed threats and to record several key species of the region. This provided the opportunity to also gather some initial user feedback on Natura Alert App for further development and improvement.
Learn more about the Iori River IBA here.