Education of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sarajevo students on the protected landscape of Bijambare
Within the undergraduate study academic 2021/2022, at the University of Sarajevo - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, for students of the 5th year, on 13 November 2021, field classes/education were held for the subject “Diseases and health management of wildlife.” Field activities were carried out on the Protected Landscape of Bijambare, which operates within the Cantonal Public Institution for Protected Natural Areas (KJUZPP). Protected natural areas include the Natural Monument "Vrelo Bosne", the Natural Monument "Skakavac", the Protected Landscape "Bentbaša", the Protected Landscape "Trebević" and the Protected Landscape "Bijambare".
Protected landscape "Bijambare" (ca. 497 hectares), is located in the northeastern part of Sarajevo Canton. The area is characterized by great biodiversity with mountain meadows, large and dense forests, rocky limestone ridges and as many as eight caves. More than 130 different living communities have been identified on "Bijambare", and their structure consists of over 800 species of higher plants. Numerous representatives of the fauna are also present - mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, insects and other groups of animals at a lower stage of development.
During their stay in the Protected Natural Area "Bijambare", students were presented with activities within the current projects of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine dealing with the protection and conservation of biodiversity for the project "Research of parasitic diseases in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to preserve and improve biodiversity" ( co-financed by the Environmental Protection Fund of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; leader Prof. Dr. Jasmin Omeragić) and the project "COVID-19 virus (SARS CoV-2) and other (beta) coronaviruses in the animal population" (co-financed by the Cantonal Government Sarajevo and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, head Prof. Dr. Teufik Goletić).
These projects are directly and indirectly related to the protected areas of Sarajevo Canton. In addition to the project manager, Prof. Dr. Ramiz Ćutuk (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine), who has been sharing his knowledge and experience with students for decades, and Harita Čolaković, Grad. Eng. Forestry (KJUZPP). Mrs. Čolaković presented the organization and tasks of the institution in order to protect and preserve the original natural values, environmental diversity, ensuring the smooth flow of natural processes and supervision over the implementation of conditions and protection measures in protected areas.
Among other things, with a tour of "Bijambara", students received significant information from lecturers regarding the legislative and institutional framework for nature conservation and biodiversity protection, defining conditions and methods of protection, conservation and sustainable use of natural areas, general measures for plant and animal species and special nature protection measures by establishing protected areas. Particular emphasis was placed on the importance of preserving animal species, ie conducting animal health care and conducting regular monitoring of infectious and parasitic diseases within it, especially due to the knowledge that wild animals can be reservoirs of zoonotic pathogens and pose a potential threat to human health.
As an example of institutional cooperation in order to implement these activities, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Cantonal Public Institution for Protected Natural Areas have signed an Agreement on monitoring and assessing the health of wildlife, bats and waterfowl in protected natural areas of Sarajevo Canton. Conducting continuous education through field and laboratory work and the involvement of younger staff, especially students, are extremely important, primarily because the acquired knowledge and experience will help achieve new values with the aim of forming a highly professional staff.