MES-Resen is organizing a series of lectures titled “The wild side od Prespa”. The short presentations are meant to introduce all interested parties (especially locals) to biodiversity monitoring and organism-specific skills, and most importantly – to tell stories that will spark up excitement for the field studies to follow and make the wait for the spring and summer more bearable. With this in mind, we are going over examples and anecdotes derived from monitoring studies on different taxonomic groups (birds, reptiles, plants, etc.), most coming from Prespa. Those that will attend will learn that without proper monitoring we can have strong misconceptions regarding the state that our organisms of interest are in, and at the same time will learn that monitoring is not only meant for biologists and ecologists, but rather, its quality is strongly dependent on the initiatives of enthusiasts and nature lovers.
In the biodiversity hotspot that is Prespa, monitoring can (and has) uncover(ed) biodiversity surprises around every corner, that can turn even the least of nature lovers into “nature addicts”. Inevitably, the attained monitoring skills will prepare all volunteers for potential careers as biologists, ecologists, field assistants, researchers, or simply for a lifetime of nature enthusiasm. At an age when a substantial proportion of the international ecological and conservation interests and resources are focused on Prespa, there is no better allocation of time and effort than that spent on local engagement by practicing biological/ecological skills! “The wild side of Prespa” is organized with financial and logistical support from PONT (Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust, https://www.pont.org) and the municipality of Resen, respectively.