The Regional Expert Team working on the Endemic List of Selected Terrestrial Plant and Animal Taxa of South-East Europe (List of Endemic Taxa of SEE) have convened for their first meeting in Skopje, North Macedonia.
The activity is supported within the Regional Network for Biodiversity Information Management and Reporting (BIMR 2) component of the Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Implementation of Biodiversity Agreements (ORF BDU), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
The List of Endemic Taxa of SEE, which improves biodiversity data management and emphasizes the extremely high level of endemism in the SEE region compared to the rest of Europe, is coordinated and facilitated by the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES). The MES is registered on the Global Biodiversity Information System (GBIF) and has already published 3 sets of data – beetles, vascular plants, and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, and mammals).
The Regional Expert Team will work on the existing endemic list of vascular plants and beetles (selected species from alpine habitats in the border areas of economies in the SEE region) and introducing new taxonomic groups: subterranean arthropods – Pseudoscorpiones (false scorpions), Diplopoda (milipedes), Chilopoda (centipedes), Diplura (two-pronged bristletails), Aranea (spiders) and Opiliones (harvesters), aquatic arthropods – Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies) and Trichoptera (caddisflies) and potentially land and freshwater snails and slugs and fishes.
Synchronized approach to methodology, criteria for all endemic taxa in 6 SEE economies
The meeting in Skopje, held on September 16, gathered 15 participants, including members of the Regional Expert Team and representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning of Republic of North Macedonia, the MES, and the GIZ ORF-BDU. The aim was to gather and coordinate all experts involved in the activity and obtain a synchronized approach regarding the methodology and criteria that need to be harmonized for all (endemic) taxonomic groups that live exclusively in the territory of six economies in the SEE region (North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia and Hercegovina).
Commenting on the meeting, Edita Zecirovic of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, Sector for Nature, said: “My impression is that important information was presented about the biodiversity data sharing standards specifically the Darwin Core Standard and the way the Global Biodiversity Information System (GBIF) data works and is published. The methods of work and species selection for further updating of the List of Endemic Taxa from the region developed under BIMR1 were also presented.”
The main goal of this activity is to improve the knowledge of endemic plants and animals in the SEE region and improve regional cooperation among biodiversity specialists and policymakers.
The activity started in September 2019 and will last until the end of September 2020.