Key step towards conservation of the most important habitats and species in the Bregalnica river basin and the East Planning Region is the establishment of system of protected areas. This system should assist the future establishment process for the environmental network Natura 2000, which represents a commitment of the Republic of Macedonia in the process for preparation of European Union membership.
It should be emphasized that the existing network of protected areas is mainly developed in the western part of Macedonia, whilst neglecting the values in eastern Macedonia. Activities should be undertaken in terms of proclamation of these areas as protected in accordance with the legal procedure. Therefore, review is proposed, and potential change of the category for protection of the existing protected areas, and proposal of new areas for protection.
The proposed system of protected areas consists of total of 36 new areas, obtained within the gap analysis of the ecological data on the Bregalnica river basin. The proposed areas include the Natural monument “Murite” – locality representing a unique natural fir and spruce habitat in east Macedonia; the natural rarity “Zvegor” with its geological specifics and the present fossil fauna; the natural rarity “Crna Dudinka” (Black Mulberry), Lesnovo monastery, where the oldest black mulberry tree in Macedonia is located.
Photo: Done Ivanov