On the 18th
of October, a discussion took place in Merkinė Visitor Center with reference to
the activities and results of the project ‘The Potential of Natural Heritage for
the Development of Ornithological Tourism in Dzūkija and Biebrža valley’, financed
by the European Regional Development Fund in Dzūkija National Park and
Čepkeliai State Nature Reserve. Vidmantas Blažys, mainly known for his
recording of sounds from nature, presented "Dzūkijos ir Bebros gamtos
garsai", a CD created during the project. The album includes two CDs. There
are 30 tracks lasting more than 62 minutes and containing about 25 species from
Bebrzanski National Park. There are also 85 tracks lasting more than 79 minutes
and recording over 65 species from the Dainava region.
Drobelis, presenting his new book ‘Wildlife Extension’, shared not only the
discoveries of natural observations but also his historical consideration: “We
worked with Vidmantas in Dainava, thousands of years old, in the Dainava
region. What would we like to show? We wanted to show what was left.
<...> Which natural aspects make Dainava so different from other
territories of the present-day Lithuania? Where else in Lithuania can we find an
European pond turtle? Only in Dainava. Where can we find the tree frogs? Only in
Dainava. Not to mention insects, plants
that are mainly found here ...In this book I wanted to put everything I saw
and found in the land for 40 years. All of that gave me the desire and strength
to live here and did not allow me to go back to Anykščiai. However, when I open a
book, it is evident that everything is far from the rest <...>” These
words from Eugenijus made us hope to see more than one book by this author. After
the premiere of his movie ‘Wildlife Mysteries’, the ornithologist Marius Karlonas
stated that this is currently the best environmental film in Lithuania.
Gudelevičius, the director of the park, was glad that this Lithuanian-Polish
project was successfully implemented in a joint effort. Not only the employees
of the park did contribute to the leisure time of the Nemunas island, but also
the Merkinė community, the museum, the people of the Cultural Center. As
regards discussion about islands, they were populated by scanty shrubs, opened
up spaces for water birds and cattle in order to prevent the emergence of new
fossils. One of the islands was inhabited by the Hereford breed of cattle, guarded
and supervised by the mercenary Algimantas Dzimanavičius. For nature lovers
there is a bird watching platform. In the recreational area of the Merkinė’s
Manor, an ornithological center can be found near the picturesque Mergelių
akelės and next to the campsite. Construction works went on for ten years in
an abandoned building. A major repair of the building was carried out, trails
were installed and a lot of nesting houses were hung.
who are interested in bird watching will be able to stay here not only with
campers, but also with tents. The total value of the project is 958 thousand EUR,
335 thousand of which was paid by Dzūkija National Park, while the remaining
part was used by the project partners - the Lithuanian Ornithological Society
and the Biebrzanski National Park in Poland. Marius Karlonas, an expert on
ornithological tourism, who represented the Lithuanian Ornithological Society,
introduced his book "A Guide for Birdwatchers in the Dzūkija Region."This book
contains a detailed account of possible places and time for hearing the birds'
voices. This is a great textbook for those who want to know the voices of the
flying kingdom. Understandably, not everyone wants to buy this book, but it can
be downloaded for free in the PDF version from the website of the Lithuanian
Ornithological Society http://www.naturetourism.eu/medija-leidiniai/leidiniai
Lapelė, Head of the Park's Biodiversity Division, reminded the idea of the
younger naturalist Bronius Šablevičius: ‘write down everything, so you can show
those who come after you how beautiful it was. "I would very much like to
believe that the islands of this wildlife will expand although, in the present situation, I'm not quite sure. God grant that what is left of nature will still
be there - despite all our efforts to save it - and it will always be
interesting, and that is what Marius did. Everyone listens but not everyone
hears, everyone is watching but not everyone sees, and this book helps us to
hear and see. "
Stanislovaitis, Director of the State Protected Area Service, was pleased with
the work done and the fact that his colleagues were able to develop such
projects by putting into practice ideas connecting several states and creating
enthusiasts for birds in bogs by recording the most natural sounds of nature.
Director of the VSTT Albertas Stanislovaitis wished that, after several years,
we would be happy not only with the increased flow of tourists but also with
more than one book by Eugenijus Drobelis.
Kašėta, Mayor of the Varėna District Municipality, greeted the work of the park
and productive publishing activities. He also shared his childhood ornithological
Browarski, a spokesman for the Bebrzanski National Park in Poland, said:
"I participated in lots of conferences where I understood the language, but
did not understand the topic of those meetings. I did not understand the
language here, but everything was clear. Wetlands are one of the most beautiful
natural habitats and at the same time the first to be subject to an outbreak.
And as we become more familiar with this project, we should expect this
cooperation to continue. "
Translated by Adriana D‘Amato, volunteer from Italy