In Albania, the men have left and the flamingos are dancing

Narta (Albania) (AFP) - Fishing boats are no longer backfiring.Factories are stopped.Tourists have disappeared.In the Albanian lagoon of Narta, the coronavirus pandemic is doing the business of the flamingos who are walking their elegant silhouette in ever increasing numbers.

Tranquility now reigns in this marshy expanse of salt water located north of Vlora Bay, separated from the Adriatic Sea by a narrow coastal strip, where the azure waters sparkle under a spring sun.

"In the current situation, we have changed roles, man is confined while fauna has taken back all its rights and takes advantage of the freedoms which are conferred on it by nature", told AFP Nexhip Hysolokaj, biodiversity specialist .

The Narta lagoon is a protected area but over the years, human activity and wild urbanization have seriously encroached on the environment, threatening ecosystems.

However, upon the appearance of the first Covid-19 case in Albania on March 9, the authorities implemented extremely restrictive measures which put the country on a halt.

In Narta, this means that the fishing boats whose engines disturb birds do not go out any more, any more than the dozens of ferries and boats which daily connected with Italy and Greece from the port of Vlora all nearby, continues Nexhip Hysolokaj, head of the protected area.

In the same way, traffic has been reduced considerably on the national road, barely 500 meters away.The surrounding factories which emitted pollutant residues into the lagoon, in particular a leather treatment plant and an oil producer olives, are dormant.

Posted Date: 2020-07-16

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Zhan Diaz, 23, ambitious man

Zhan is an ambitious man who finds it hard to get out of bed in the mornings. Physically, he is built like an hourglass. His biggest fear is getting bitten by a tiger. He is particularly interested in listening to birds singing.