Friday, November 12, 2010

#480 Macedonia...Thanks Goran!

The 20 Denar stamp on the right was issued in 2010 depicting Lake Ohrid Snail (Gocea ohridana).

Gocea ohridana is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species. This species is endemic to the Macedonian part of ancient Lake Ohrid in the
Balkans. It lives exclusively in the rocky southeastern shore habitats of the lake and is found
in small numbers. Today Gocea ohridana is restricted to a few square metres in the immediate
surroundings of underwater springs found on the bottom of the lake. Within this setting the
species is specialised, living in little holes in underwater rocks.

Deforestation has led to increased sediment loads entering the lake, blanketing the rocks
and their holes, which affects this tiny species. Other threats come from pollution from
settlements along Lake Ohrid which contaminate the water. The underwater springs are fed
by underground connections from Lake Prespa. Agriculture around this lake has increased the
nutrient load in the waters which feed through to pollute Lake Ohrid and the springs.
Currently, there are no particular conservation measures in place to protect this species,
although Lake Ohrid is a World Heritage Site.

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