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Macedonia

Black Stork Ciconia nigra ©Giuliano Gerra & Silvio Sommazzi

The Republic of Macedonia, is a landlocked country on the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Serbia and the disputed territory of Kosovo to the north, Albania to the west, Greece to the south, and Bulgaria to the east.

The Republic of Macedonia lies in the northwestern third of the wider geographical region of Macedonia, with about 40% of the region's population. The capital is Skopje, with 506,926 inhabitants according to a 2004 census, and there are a number of smaller cities, notably Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Ohrid, Veles, Štip, Kočani, Gostivar and Strumica. It has more than 50 lakes and sixteen mountains higher than 2,000 meters (6,550 ft).

Macedonia is a landlocked country that is geographically clearly defined by a central valley formed by the Vardar river and framed along its borders by mountain ranges. The terrain is mostly rugged, located between the Šar Mountains and Osogovo, which frame the valley of the Vardar river. Three large lakes — Lake Ohrid, Lake Prespa and Dojran Lake — lie on the southern borders of the Republic, bisected by the frontiers with Albania and Greece. Ohrid is considered to be one of the oldest lakes and biotopes in the world. The region is seismically active and has been the site of destructive earthquakes in the past, most recently in 1963 when Skopje was heavily damaged by a major earthquake, killing over 1,000.

Macedonia also has scenic mountains. They belong to two different ranges: the Dinaric Alps and Belasica. The Dinaric range is the oldest with subsequent erosion while the Belasica range is younger offering rugged, alpine scenery.

Macedonia has transitional climate from Mediterranean to continental. The summers are hot and dry and the winters are moderately cold. Average annual precipitation varies from 1,700 mm (67 inches) in the western mountainous area to 500 mm (20 inches) in the eastern area. There are three main climatic zones in the country: temperate Mediterranean, mountainous and mildly Continental. Along the valleys of the Vardar and Strumica rivers, in the regions of Gevgelija, Valandovo, Dojran, Strumica and Radovish the climate is temperate Mediterranean.

The warmest regions are Demir Kapija and Gevgelija, where the temperature in July and August frequently exceeds 40 C. The mountainous climate is present in the mountainous regions of the country and it is characterised by long and snowy winters and short and cold summers. The spring is colder than the fall. The majority of Macedonia has a moderate continental climate with warm and dry summers and relatively cold and wet winters. There are 30 main and regular weather stations in the country.

Phytogeographically, Macedonia belongs to the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF and Digital Map of European Ecological Regions by the European Environment Agency, the territory of the Republic can be subdivided into four ecoregions: the Pindus Mountains mixed forests, Balkan mixed forests, Rhodopes mixed forests and Aegean sclerophyllous and mixed forests.

Contributor

Wikipedia

GNU Free Documentation License

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Macedonia

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 301

Checklist

Checklist

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Useful Reading

Birds, CDs etc.

Most parts of Europe are adequately covered in Europe wide fieldguies etc… see the Fatbirder Europe page for useful reading

Guides & Tour Operators

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Spatia Wildlife - Birds of the Balkans – Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece

Tour Operator

This tour will allow you to explore different areas in three countries and see a variety of species in relatively relaxing pace. Despite that, the distance covered will be around one thousand kilometres, far less than standard spring birdwatching tour in Bulgaria for example…

Trip Reports

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CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

1997 [June-July]

Report

Birds seen in Vardar Macedonia: Black Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel, Rock Pigeon, Feral Pigeon, Collared Dove, Black Swift, Hoopoe, Syrian Woodpecker, Skylark, Crested Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Southern Nightingale, Black Redstart, Blackbird, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Red-backed Shrike, Starling, Magpie, Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch…

Organisations

Bird Study and Protection Society of Macedonia

Institute of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, MAC-1000 Skopje. ++389 78 254 736 President: Prof. Branko Micevski - brankom@ukim.edu.mk

Museums

Macedonian Museum of Natural History

Website

Macedonia is known as a crossroad of migratory birds. Almost one third of 310 species from these areas are migratory birds, while 210 species are nesting birds. In the exhibition 250 species are displayed with 450 exhibits. These are representatives of the exceptionally interesting water birds, predator birds, owls, partridges, etc…

Reserves

National Park Mavrovo

Website

Satellite View

The wild life in Mavrovo is present with 64 species or 62.1 % from the total quantity of wild life in the Republic of Macedonia. 41 species or 51.9% are permenantly protected, while 14 species or 82.4 % is wild life without legal protection in Macedonia.

National Parks

Information

Most prominent mamles in the parks are the families of weasels, dogs and cats, as well as deer. From the birds, most domimanat are the families of eagles, hawks, with over 15 species, and geese swans and ducks, with over 12 species, then ravans, storks, with 8 species each, and owls with 7 species, etc…

Ohrid Lake

Website

Satellite View

Due to its age, many of Lake Ohrid's aquatic species are endemic including ten of the seventeen fish species. In addition, there are five particular endemic species which are restricted to small areas of the Lake such as special various birds, as well as four fish spawning grounds. Because of its rich history and unique flora and fauna, Lake Ohrid was declared a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural heritage Site in 1980…

Parks & Nature Reserves of Macedonia

Website

There are three large tectonic lakes, fifteen artificial lakes and also twenty-five glacial lakes located in the highest areas of the mountain ranges dating from the Ice Age…

Wetlands

Website

The convention entered into force in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 8 September 1991. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia currently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 21,616 hectares.

Blogs

Nature of Macedonia

Website

Photos of nature in Macedonia