I spent three nights in April 2019 in beautiful Macedonia, mainly around Mavrovo National Park, a stronghold for the Balkan Lynx, where I spent a day Dime Melovski from the Balkan Lynx Recovery Program. A
We hiked along an old trail that had been built for President Tito who had had exclusive rights to hunt this section of the park back in the days of Yugoslavia. Lynx are camera trapped along the trail fairly often. We didn’t see any but did see fresh Bear poop, old Wolf poop and at least 30 Chamois (from the Balcanica subspecies) on the high pastures. There was also a lot of rodent activity above the treeline. Presumably from voles but I am not sure which species.
The lawn of the Radika Hotel on the shores of Lake Mavrovo were alive with diggings. I am still not sure if the network of holes and tunnels were made by moles or voles, quite possibly both. I got a very partial view of one animal at the entrance to a tunnel in the late afternoon. It looked like a mole, but there are three species there: European, Balkan and Blind Moles. Indeed my view was so brief it could have been a vole.
The only other mammals I saw in Macedonia were a House Mouse and a Wood Mouse, both trapped at Kriva Palanka close to the Bulgarian border.
Balkans, 2019: Jon Hall’s brief report on a few species including Macedonian Mouse, with information on the Balkan Lynx.
Please email me if you have tips for mammal watching in this area.