The first short-term group EVS in Frushka gora has finished, and the volunteers from 8 European countries have left. They have worked for the reviving of one of the last steppe pastures in Frushka gora next to the village of Mala Remeta. For the duration of 2 weeks the Mountain spirit volunteers have cleared shrubs and low-grown plants. Due to not enough stock grazing and scything (mowing) of the pastures one of the main preys of the critically endangered Eastern imperian eagle (Aquila heliaca) – the suslik (Spermophilus citellus) – has been driven away from the area.
“The Imperial Eagles have been nesting in Frushka gora two years ago. Here we are clearing the shrubs from the pastures for days now and we haven’t seen not even a single suslik. Besides the fact that endangered species are loosing their habitats, there won’t be any pastures left for the people of Mala Remeta to graze their stock” said Marijana Demajo from the Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia. That’s why we are trying with this volunteering camp to help the local people and together to create something useful for nature and people” added Marijana.
Steppe pastures are one of the most endangered types of habitats. In the past, Vojvodina has been a mosaic of steppe grasslands which have been disappearing due to agriculture pressure, loss of traditional animal husbandary, overploughing, etc. The dissappearing of the pastures means that the last natural oasis for numbers of endangered species and for the people are also dying out.
I joined the EVS because I wanted to get to know the Serbian culture, volunteers from all over Europe and to help protection of protected species. I am extremely happy because all my three wishes has come true already. The local people from Mala Remeta are more wonderful, everyday they visit us, bring us food, which is extremely tasty. I have to thank to Ljilji from “Frushka gora’s lugarnica” and our friend Bocko who help us a lot” said the smiling Jose Miguel Botica Rodrigues from Portugal and continued “I will bring back to Portugal beautiful memories and the feeling I did something useful for nature. Moreover, I made friends with people from Poland, UK, Croatia, Turkey, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain and Serbia”.