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Macedonian Fauna
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Lynx

The fauna of Macedonian forests is abundant and includes bears, wild boars, wolves, foxes, squirrels, chamois, and deer. The lynx is found, although very rarely, in the mountains of western Macedonia , particularly on Mt. Sar, while deer can be found in the region of Demir Kapija. Forest birds include the blackcap, the grouse, the black grouse, the imperial eagle, and the forest owl.

The shepherd dog of Mt. Sar  is known worldwide as the sarplaninec (Yugoslav shepherd). It stands some 60 centimeters tall and is a brave and fierce fighter that may be called upon to fight bears or wolf packs in guarding and defending flocks. The sarplaninec originates from the shepherd's dog of the ancient Epirotes, the molossus, but the sarplaninec was recognized as its own species in 1939 under the name of "Illyrian shepherd" and since 1956 has been known as sarplaninec.

Sharplaninec

 

Lake Ohrid, Lake Prespa, and Lake Dojran represent a separate fauna zone, an indication of long-lasting territorial and temporal isolation. The fauna of Lake Ohrid is a relic of an earlier era and the
letnica trout
lake is widely known for its letnica trout, lake whitefish, gudgeon, roach, podust, and pior, as well as for certain species of snails of a genus older than 30 million years; similar species can only be found in Lake Baikal.
Lake Ohrid is also noted in zoology texts for the European eel and its baffling reproductive cycle: it comes to Lake Ohrid from the distant Sargasso Sea , thousands of kilometres away, and lurks in the depths of the lake for 10 years. When sexually mature, the eel is driven by unexplained instincts in the autumn to set off back to its point of birth. There it spawns and dies, leaving its offspring to seek out Lake Ohrid to begin the cycle anew.

From Macedonia Yesterday and Today by Jovan Pavlovski & Misel Pavlovski (www.mian.com.mk)

Translated by: Zaharija Pavlovska

 
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