Fruska Gora is the lonely island mountain in the Panonian plain, bordered by the Danube river to the north while to the south it descends into loess flats that harbour last remains of typical steppe areas. It represents a real natural and cultural value of this region and in 1960 it was proclaimed as the first National Park of Serbia.
Due to numerous fossil remains of flora and fauna, this mountain is often called „mirror of the geological past“. Besides numerous hidden archaelogical localities from prehistorical and historical times, there are 16 old orthodox monasteries that are under protection as UNESCO sites. Pastures and fertile soils, vinyards and orchards cover slopes and lower lands, while higher altitudes are covered by old and dense linden, beach and oak forests.
A special charm to this area is given by its numerous endangered, rare and protected species of flora and fauna. In different nooks of this mountain you can find various interesting plants (around 1500 species) and fungi (around 400 species), and maybe even see some rare and interesting animals like fire salamanders, lesser mole-rats, sousliks, wild cats, or the magnificent red deer that has made a comeback to this mountain. Old forests as well as surrounding steppe pastures, stream valleys, groves and mosaic agricultural areas are home to a rich bird fauna, as more than 200 bird species can be found on the park’s territory. Many rare birds of prey can also be seen here, like saker falcons or red kites or even, if lucky enough, spot the Imperial Eagle!
Frushka gora and the Mountain spirit volunteers
Frushka gora is a beautiful oasis amongst the majorly altered landscape of fertile Vojvodina plains but it is not safe from the negative human impact! Despite its protected status the pressure on nature is piling up and while some of the natural riches ask just to be left alone to prosper, others need our help and that is where volunteer help is needed.
The surface under steppe vegetation is reduced and limited to the southern mountain slopes, where it persisted so far on the valley pastures due to the grazing purpose. These steppe fragments are last remaining natural habitats for sousliks, the main pray of the Eastern Imperial Eagle, an endangered raptor that has only a single remaining breeding pair in Serbia!
Nowadays the pastures are succumbing to ecological succession due to lack of grazing, as traditional farming is being replaced with more intensive practices. Initiative of expanding and revitalization of abandoned pastures helps sustain suitable habitats with the hope for returning of the majestic bird of prey.
If you want to volunteer for Frushka gora and the Imperial eagle take a look at the open call for 2-week long group EVS volunteers in the begining of July 2018. Or follow the Mountain spirit volunteers blog page for news and volunteer stories.