A lecture on the amphibians and reptiles of Athos peninsula and Hilandar monastery at the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts
The Society of Friends of Mount Athos and Hilandar Monastery and the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia organized a gathering on the topic of "Amphibians and reptiles of Athos peninsula and Hilandar Monastery" at the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts on May 30th, 2019. This gathering was also a presentation of the first publication of the same title on the results of research of nature in the surrounding area of Hilandar Monastery. The research was conducted by the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia and the Hilandar Monastery.
In his welcome speech, the writer and the President of Society of Friends of Mount Athos and Hilandar Monastery, Vladeta Janković expressed his gratefulness to the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia for the participation and support to this gathering.
In the first part of lecture, Danko Jović, Head of the Institute’s Office in Niš, presented the importance of the first comprehensive research of nature of the area of Hilandar monastery, and the publication of books on the nature surrounding the Holy Monastery of Hilandar. D. Jović explained how the research began, methodology, dynamics and organization of work in the field, as well as the ways of discovering species of amphibians and reptiles in the period from 2015 to 2018 when the research was carried out.
In the second part of lecture, Rastko Ajtić, Institute’s herpetologist, explained the reasons and ways certain species inhabited the area of Mount Athos, in a brief overview of the movement of animals through geological history, and by describing the richness of this natural world where 35 species of amphibians and reptiles were recorded, which was an extremely high number for a rather small region. R. Ajtić also stressed the importance of these species for the living world of the Mount Athos.
Lecturers, herpetologists of the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia, presented their impressions of the research, which was a great professional challenge, as well as how they were instructed by monks to reveal the spiritual and cultural importance of the Hilandar monastery and the area of Mount Athos, whereas they shared with monks their knowledge on the ways to get to know the importance of the animals they were exploring.
Besides the members of Society of Friends of Mount Athos and Hilandar Monastery, the lecture was attended by representatives of professional and scientific institutions in the field of nature conservation and environmental protection.
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