Project

Fighting Negative Impacts of Tradition on Biodiversity by Education II – Building a Network

Goal: This project’s aim is to determine and mitigate the negative impact of traditional beliefs and cultural heritage on endangered wild animal species in Serbia. It will combine the data about the selected species occurrence and their presence in the traditional beliefs of local citizens. Second part of the project aims to evaluate intensity of local folklore and cultural heritage impact on the population status of Hermann’s tortoise. Finally, this project aims at educating the pupils about studied species groups, their threat status, the need to protect wild populations and the legislation related to the biodiversity protection.

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Project log

Marko Lj. Nikolić
added a research item
Macro- and microhabitat preference of Testudo hermanni boettgeri, the eastern subspecies of Hermann’s tortoise, was investigated utilizing modified methodology for the western subspecies which emphasized the importance of habitat heterogeneity preservation. The study objective was to explore the habitat preferences of the eastern subspecies of T. hermanni. Research was conducted within the same year at four localities in Eastern and Southeastern Serbia. Macrohabitat determination was conducted using a 0 to 5 land cover score system (coverage with herbaceous, bushy or tree vegetation) for 4 m2 tortoise encounter surroundings. Microhabitat analysis was carried out by determining the plant species in closest contact with the tortoise in the moment of recording. Plants were classified into six groups: 1) aromatic, 2) bramble, 3) herbaceous, 4) thorny shrub, 5) tree and 6) non-thorny shrubs. X2 test was used for comparison between expected and empirical habitat preference. Results confirmed that the most attractive macrohabitats for Eastern Hermann’s tortoises in this part of the Balkans are meadows and open shrublands, with the addition of dense forest (important in wormer months), what is concordant with earlier data from the Mediterranean part of former Yugoslavia. The most attractive microhabitats were “herbaceous plants”, followed by “bramble”.
Marko Lj. Nikolić
added a research item
Local resource users can affect the implementation of conservation measures positively or negatively therefore being a powerful conservation factor. Present local folk beliefs, religion and mythology contribute vastly to the formation of attitudes and opinions of the locals towards nature and wildlife.For the purpose of this research, the methodology of surveying enabled the effective collection of information on the attitudes and knowledge of the locals related to the people's attitude towards wildlife. Surveying was conducted in a total of four locations (100 respondents each) in the underdeveloped municipalities of Serbia: Donji Milanovac and Kladovo in the eastern, and Leskovac and Nis in southern Serbia.The Mann-Whitney test of the obtained results showed that respondents from the localities in eastern Serbia are much more superstitious than respondents in southern Serbia (P = 0.002). Also, the same test has confirmed that residents living near protected areas are much more superstitious than residents living outside protected territory (P = 0.034).Many international documents in the field of nature protection state the education of the population as a necessary step inthe protection of biodiversity, therefore continuous education of the population both in protected areas and outside their borders is necessary.
Marko Lj. Nikolić
added a project goal
This project’s aim is to determine and mitigate the negative impact of traditional beliefs and cultural heritage on endangered wild animal species in Serbia. It will combine the data about the selected species occurrence and their presence in the traditional beliefs of local citizens. Second part of the project aims to evaluate intensity of local folklore and cultural heritage impact on the population status of Hermann’s tortoise. Finally, this project aims at educating the pupils about studied species groups, their threat status, the need to protect wild populations and the legislation related to the biodiversity protection.