‘Bubo night’ – Volunteers are contributing to data collection
For the second time in Montenegro, a large-scale survey of the Eagle Owl Bubo bubo was performed on 16th and 17th of February 2018. On the first day the survey was conducted on the slopes of the Montenegrin coastal mountains, whereas the second day covered the edges of Bjelopavlići valley and in Morača canyon.
The events were incredibly successful. Borut Rubinic, the project Key Expert for the Birds Directive, summarized enthusiastically ‘we got unbelievable results in sense of collected data and the Eagle Owl’s territorial occupancy, which would not have been possible with the limited project resources. These events showed high attendance of motivated volunteers and strongly contributed to the capacity building in Montenegro’. Volunteers got a short introductory training before the surveys and during the social gatherings afterwards, presentations provided information about the ecology, threats and conservation needs of this species. The survey was led by Tomaž Mihelič, the leading Eagle Owl expert in Slovenia. It was entirely voluntary: 63 volunteers helped to survey Eagle Owls on 52 vantage points. Altogether 23 territorial males were recorded, with incredibly high occupancy of 85% at the coast. The results confirmed exceptional importance of Montenegrin coastal mountain slopes for this species.