Friday, November 20, 2015

Mokra Gora Nature Park in western Serbia: An Ecotourist Fantasy

Posted by Richard B. Primack

Earlier this month, I attended the World Biodiversity Conference in Mokra National Park in western Serbia. This is a beautiful area of rugged hills covered with pine forests and a few villages and fields in the valleys. 

The park is unusual in that much of the infrastructure was created in an exaggerated 1970s Serbian style as a set for a movie, and then was converted into a hotel, conference center, and restaurants.

The centerpiece of the park, which attracts large numbers of tourists, is a narrow gauge railroad and a series of train stations built just for the movie.

At the end of the conference, some of us went on a field trip that included a train ride.  Due to visa problems, many people were not able to attend the conference, and about half of the participants were from India.

After the conference I visit my colleagues in Novi Sad in northern Serbia. The highlight of the trip was a visit with grad student Tijana Radisic to a village park where about 80 long-eared owls nest during the day; at night they hunt in the surrounding fields. 

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