First year of the project and third live consortium meeting


One year from the beginning of the project, on October 2nd, 2023, partners gathered at the Entrepreneurship Centre of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County for the third live meeting to present their results and evaluate the activities carried out in the first year:

  • The first version of Guidelines for the restoration and management of Mediterranean ponds and nesting sites has been created.
  • Some of the canals crucial for the movement of the Balkan Terrapins have been cleared.
  • All the necessary permits for ex-situ research and in-situ handling of Balkan Terrapins for the purpose of the assisted breeding program were obtained.
  • Professional workshops were organized, as well as workshops where successful cooperation with stakeholders from the project area was achieved.
  • The Co-opetarive Board of the LIFE for Mauremys project has been formed. It includes six stakeholders from the project area, residents who are most familiar with the requirements of the stakeholders from the project area.
  • In addition to the Co-operative Board, the project will be assisted by an Advisory Board composed of six experts from public institutions engaged in nature protection, agriculture and water management.
  • Research and testing of the new 'turtle-friendly' fishing net designs to determine how Balkan Terrapins react to them has been very successful so far.
  • In collaboration with the locals nesting sites for Balkan Terrapins were secured using repellents, protecting them from wild boars during the nesting season.
  • For the purpose of assisted breeding, 6 gravid females were captured and transported to the Zagreb Zoo. Females successfully laid their eggs, and there are now 28 healthy hatchlings under expert care, waiting to be released into the restored refugium pond by the end of the project.



  • Partners are networking with various institutions and other projects dedicated to improving freshwater habitat quality and restoring reptile populations. Knowledge exchange will ensure that the project results will be applied in other Mediterranean habitats and Balkan Terrapin populations.
  • Followers of the project’s social media, schools that participated in educational workshops, visitors to Mauremys Day at the Zagreb Zoo, and many others proudly display their backpacks, caps, bottles, coloring sets, or notebooks promoting the project and Balkan Terrapins.
  • Illustrator Andrijana Vasić has created the character of the Balkan Terrapin Mara and many other inhabitants of Mediterranean freshwater habitats. Kids will be able to get to know them in a picture book, puzzle, and memory games.


There are also activities aimed at the removal and control of invasive alien species of turtles, gambusia fish, and paspalum plants, as well as many other project activities (about which you can find more details on this website, social media, or by contacting our experts directly).


Date of publication: 14 of December 2023

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