Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade, Serbia

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Sasic M.,Croatian Natural History Museum | Popovic M.,HabiProt | Cuvelier S.,Vlaamse Vereniging voor Entomologie | Duric M.,HabiProt | And 11 more authors.
Nota Lepidopterologica | Year: 2015

Albanian insect fauna is one of the least studied in Europe. In 2012 and 2013 surveys were undertaken with the aim of improving the knowledge of the distribution of butterflies, particularly in the southern part of the country. This research has resulted in the publication of three new species records for Albania. Here we add two new species to the list of native butterflies of Albania, Melitaea ornata Christoph, 1893 and Cupido alcetas (Hoffmannsegg, 1804). We recorded a total of 143 species including several confirmations of historical published records. The total number of species has consequently increased to 198, which is comparable with butterfly diversity in neighbouring countries. Unlike its neighbours, Albania has preserved many of its traditional agricultural practices and consequently its rich fauna has been well protected during the last decades. However, with the opening up of the country to outside influences this will undoubtedly change as the process of intensification has already started in more populated coastal areas. It is therefore imperative to identify important butterfly areas in need of conservation and to take decisive measures to preserve traditional agricultural practices.


Verovnik R.,University of Ljubljana | Popovic M.,HabiProt
ZooKeys | Year: 2013

The Republic of Albania has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. However, due to its political isolation, it has never been studied in great depth, and consequently, the existing list of butterfly species is outdated and in need of radical amendment. In addition to our personal data, we have studied the available literature, and can report a total of 196 butterfly species recorded from the country. For some of the species in the list we have given explanations for their inclusion and made other annotations. Doubtful records have been removed from the list, and changes in taxonomy have been updated and discussed separately. The purpose of our paper is to remove confusion and conflict regarding published records. However, the revised checklist should not be considered complete: it represents a starting point for further research. © R. Verovnik, M. Popović.


Verovnik R.,University of Ljubljana | Popovic M.,HabiProt | Sasic M.,Croatian Natural History Museum | Cuvelier S.,Vlaamse Vereniging voor Entomologie | Maes D.,Research Institute for Nature and Forest INBO
Journal of Insect Conservation | Year: 2014

The Brown's Grayling (Pseudochazara amymone) is one of the most enigmatic and sought after species among European butterflies. Hiding its exact distribution for almost 40 years with the idea of protecting it, resulted in an increasing collector's interest, with market prices reaching up to 1,000 euro for a single female after its discovery in Albania. Aiming to demystify this butterfly and enable entomologists and conservationists to see the species in its natural environment, we provide detailed information on its distribution in south-eastern Albania. In addition, we modelled the potential species distribution to facilitate further surveys within its potential range. The modelled range of P. amymone is highly fragmented stretching from the central part of eastern Albania to northern Greece and is strongly bound to ophiolite geological strata. The species was re-assessed as Endangered according to the IUCN criteria, with a predicted population decline due to construction of hydroelectric power plants in one of the locations. We argue that hiding valuable information regarding threatened insect species may have negative effects and we advocate publishing available distribution data so that conservation measures may be undertaken where and when necessary. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Popovic M.,HabiProt | Popovic M.,University of Kragujevac | Radakovic M.,University of Kragujevac | Durdevic A.,HabiProt | And 2 more authors.
Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae | Year: 2014

The paper provides an overview on the distribution of recently discovered Scarce Large Blue (Phengaris (Maculinea) teleius) in northern Serbia (Selevenj Sands, Ludaš Lake and Subotica Sands). Mapping of the butterfly and its habitat has shown that most of the suitable habitats are limited to protected areas where at least some of the wet meadows with Sanguisorba officinalis host plant are suitably managed and regularly mown. Given the known maximum dispersal distances of P. teleius, the suitable habitat patches possibly support two separate meta-populations. Fragmentation and isolation of remaining colonies represent the main threats to long term survival of the species in Serbia. Based on IUCN criteria for regional red lists, the species qualifies as Endangered (EN) in Serbia and requires immediate conservation actions. Our results suggest that mowing is of high importance for maintaining suitable habitat. Until more is known about local ecological requirements of the species, general mowing recommendations should be followed with avoidance of mowing between mid June and mid September and providing a mosaic of different mowing regimes.


Popovic M.,HabiProt | Popovic M.,University of Kragujevac | Popovic M.,University of Niš | Sasic M.,Croatian Natural History Museum | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Insect Conservation | Year: 2016

Due to their complex and interesting life cycle and alarming conservation status the Large Blue butterflies have become one of the most studied group of insects in Europe. In Serbia, however, Phengaris teleius has recently been discovered (in the far north of the country) and, since this initial finding, significant efforts have been made to map the local distribution of this species and to implement conservation measures. A mark-release-recapture study was initiated to obtain a more detailed report about population size and structure in Serbia. Results have shown that localities and patches within these localities are well connected by migration of butterflies and gave some evidence for metapopulation organisation. The total number of individuals was estimated at 15,000, which makes it one of the largest known metapopulations in Europe. Unusual for populations at the edge of the distribution range, these are characterized with large population estimates and relative stability. Compared to other areas in Europe, butterflies in Serbia start to fly 2 weeks later in the summer, probably a consequence of a late mowing regime initiated during July. Some evidence of a negative relationship between the survival of P. teleius adults and local population density was also found. With favourable management, these populations could remain stable for the foreseeable future. The preservation of large, healthy populations of P. teleius supported by a favourable management and monitoring programme along with the sustainability of individual dispersal translocation between patches should be a prime aim. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

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