The first Albanian field trip of 2016 took place in June. The members of the team were Zoltán Erőss, Zoltán Fehér, Jozef Grego, Maros Grego and Miklós Szekeres. One of our objectives was to find Montenegrina chiasma in the Mt. Dajti (central Albania), Montenegrina sporadica in the Decan Valley (Kosovo) and Cochlostoma erika near Razëm (northern Albania). The other aim was to better explore the stygobiont fissure-dwelling terrestrial- and the subterranean spring snail fauna of the Prokletije Mts.
The itinerary was the following: 1st day: Gusinje area, Montenegro. Here we sampled a couple of spings (the larges ones were Alipašini Spring and Oko Skakavice), Vermosh area, Albania. Here we hiked up to the northern slope of the Maja e Brinja e Vicit. 2nd day: Vermosh—Predelec Pass—Lëpushë. Here we have hiked around Lëpushë, up to the Vajusha Peak in order to find Protoherilla, which had an old literature record from this area. Therafter, in the Cem River Valley down to Tamarë. 3rd day: Down to the Shkoder Lake and then back to another part of the Prokletije Mts. Tamarë—Shpellë e Dverptes—Rraps-Starjë—Bajzë (Syri i Shegani)—Razëm. 4th day: From Razëm we hiked up to the Shpellë e Deleve (Sheep’s Cave) on the Mt. Veleçikut to find the interesting Cochlostoma population, which was discovered recently by our Dutch colleague, Edi Gittenberger. After Razëm, we made a detour in the Kir River Valley up to the Zhyla Cave in Prekal. 5th day: Down to the capital of Albania and up to the Mt. Dajti to find Montenegrina chiasma there. We have wasted almost a whole day and we have failed to find any… 6th day: Back to the North. Domgjon in the Munella Mts.—Krumë (Vrela Spring)—Bajram Curri. 7th day: A hike from Shoshan village to the Gorge of the Gash River, where we have found a new Montenegrina prokletiana population. Then, upwards in the fascinating Valbonë Valley. 8th day: Collecting in the Valbonë and Cerem Valleys, another Montenegrina prokletiana discovery! 9th day: Kosovo, Decan Valley. It was not easy to find Montenegrina sporadica, because it occurs sporadically and it is very rare, but finally it was found (by Jozef, more specifically). Then, to the Rugovo Gorge up to Liqenat village. 10th day: Before travelling home, we made two short detours, one to the Cakor Pass border crossing point and another one to the spring of the White Drin River.
Pictures can be found in the Gallery.