I have been involved with nature conservation work since 2004, being affiliated with PPNEA (Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania), a nature conservation organisation working in Albania, SW Balkans. In 2006, I started working for the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme, an initiative undertaken by PPNEA and partners, aiming to preserve the most endangered Eurasian lynx population in the world.
Through the work of the programme, in 2008, I was recommended and invited to take part at the pilot course of what would subsequently become WildCRU’s Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice. The experience at WildCRU was determinant for my subsequent career and professional life as I progressed to pursue an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at the University of Oxford (2009-2010) and a PhD in Environmental Anthropology at the University of Roehampton, London (2013-2017).
My work interests have been largely on the conservation of large carnivores based on principles of sound scientific research and considerations of human-predator inter-relationships. With respect to these, I have been conducting research in interdisciplinary fields that integrate natural and cultural dimensions of conservation. My doctorate thesis “The gentleman, the vagabonds and the stranger: cultural representations of large carnivores in Albania and their implications for conservation” explores how local people interrelate with large carnivores in highland Albania and how that information can be used for improving the conservation and management of these species in the country. I am member of two IUCN SSC specialist groups on large carnivores: the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe and the Bear Specialist Group. I am interested in advancing nature conservation work in the country based on principles of sound scientific research and prioritisation of the local context in conservation.
Salvatori, V., Donfrancesco, V., Trouwborst, A., Boitani, L., Linnell, J.D.C., Alvares, F., Åkesson, M., Balys, V., Blanco, J.C., Chiriac, S., Cirovic, D., Groff, C., Guinot-Ghestem, M., Huber, D., Kojola, I., Kusak, J., Kutal, M., Iliopulos, Y., Ionescu, O., Majic Skrbinsek, A., Mannil, P., Marucco, F., Melovski, D., Mysłajek, R.W., Nowak, S., Ozolins, J., Rauer, G., Reinhardt, I., Rigg, R., Schley, L., Skrbinsek, T., Svensson, L., Trajçe, A., Trbojevic, I., Tzingarska, E., von Arx, M., Ciucci, P (2020) European agreements for nature conservation need to explicitly address wolf-dog hybridisation. Biological Conservation 248, 108525. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108525
Trajçe, A., Ivanov, G., Keçi, E., Majić, A., Melovski, D., Mersini, K., Mustafa, S., Skrbinšek, T., Stojanov, A., Todorovska, A., von Arx, M., Linnell, J.D.C. (2019) All carnivores are not equal in the rural people’s view. Should we develop conservation plans for functional guilds or individual species in the face of conflicts? Global Ecology and Conservation e00677. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00677
Melovski, D., Von Arx, M., Avukatov, V., Breitenmoser-Würsten, C., Đurović, M., Elezi, R., Gimenez, O., Hoxha, B., Hristovski, S., Ivanov, G., Karamanlidis, A.A., Lanz, T., Mersini, K., Perović, A., Ramadani, A., Sanaja, B., Sanaja, P., Schwaderer, G., Spangenberg, A., Stojanov, A., Trajçe, A., Breitenmoser, U (2018) Using questionnaire surveys and occupancy modelling to identify conservation priorities for the Critically Endangered Balkan lynx Lynx lynx balcanicus. Oryx 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605318000492
Chapron, G., et al., Trajçe, A., Tsingarska-Sedefcheva, E., Váňa, M., Veeroja, R., Wabakken, P., Wölfl, M., Wölfl, S., Zimmermann, F., Zlatanova, D., Boitani, l (2014) Recovery of large carnivores in Europe’s modern human-dominated landscapes. Science 346, 1517–1519. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1257553