Monday, November 17, 2014

Conservation education and nature protection in northern Serbia

Posted by Richard B. Primack

During my visit to Germany, I headed southeast to Serbia for 5 days. Most of my time was spent in Novi Sad, a beautiful city in northern Serbia on the Danube River. My hosts were my co-authors for the Serbian edition of the Primer of Conservation Biology, which will be published in 2014.

Here, four of my co-authors and I stand on the banks of the Danube with the old fortress on the hills above:

One day, we visited Fuska gora National Park, a forested ridge that runs above the Danube River. While much of the forest is still managed for timber production, sections of beech forest are being left in a natural condition.

An unusual feature of the park is numerous Serbian monasteries, many of which are hundreds of years old.

On the grounds of the monasteries are some rare wildflowers, such as this autumn-blooming crocus:

On another day, we visited the protected lands on the Danube floodplain that are being managed for migratory bird populations, for flood control, and increasingly for environmental education.

The Serbian experience was enhanced by many leisurely meals in the open air, and relaxed glasses of wine while gazing at the Danube. One evening we sat at a cafe on the edge of the fortress, gazing at the new bridge across the Danube, built to replace a bridge destroyed by NATO bombing in the 1998 war.

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