Cameras in Hotova National Park in Permet have captured footage of a variety of animals including bears, wild boars, and foxes.
Vilson Lumani, head of the park said that there is an extraordinary wealth of animal life in the park that has been able to flourish since the moratorium on hunting has been enacted. The law has been in force for five years, during which time hunters are not able to practice as a hobby or a sport.
Little is known about how well it has been implemented but the footage shows a return of previously endangered animal species.
Hotova National Park is the largest in the country and is located in Gjirokaster County. It has a surface area of 34,361 hectares and includes hills, mountains, valleys, canyons, gorges, rivers and dense forest land. It includes the remote mountainous region of Nemercka and Tomorr between the Vjosa Valley, Leskovik, Erseka and the Osum Valley.
The forests are the most important habitat of the park and mammals such as wild cats, roe deer, wild boar, squirrels, otters, badgers, brown bears, grey wolves, and red foxes can also be found there. A wide variety of bird species are also found there including the golden eagle, barn owl, sparrowhawk, Egyptian vulture and kestrel.
The park is under threat from the construction of hydroelectric dams along the Langarica Canyon despite the International Union for Conservation of Nature listing the park as a Category II location.