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The fauna of Divjake-Karavasta National Park

  • 6/1/2021 1:49 PM
The fauna of Divjake-Karavasta National Park

The Divjakë-Karavasta National Park is a national park in the western part of Albania, sprawling across the Myzeqe Plain in the direct proximity to the Adriatic Sea. The park spans a territory of 222.3 square kilometres containing remarkable features such as wetlands, salt marshes, coastal meadows, floodplains, woodlands, reed beds, forests and estuaries. Because of the park's important and great availability of bird and plant species, it has been identified as an important Bird and Plant Area of international importance.

Based on its particular location and the mosaic distribution of various types of habitats, the great availability of water, influenced by the configuration of the terrain, has resulted an admirable fauna. The wealth of fauna is represented by 228 species of birds, 25 species mammals, 29 species of reptiles and 29 species of amphibia.

The park is one of the country's foremost birding destinations featuring an astounding mix of more than 228 species of resident and migratory birds, of which almost 15 species are globally endangered. It possibly represents the most significant and important ecological value of the park. The sheltered open waters of the wetlands and the outlying coasts provide resting areas for migrating birds on their way between Europe and Africa through the Adriatic flyway.

The park is home to 5% of the world population of the globally endangered and extremely rare dalmatian pelican. It is endemic in the lagoon of Karavasta, which is the only coastal breeding site of this species along the Adriatic and Ionian Sea.

Given the great diversity of ecosystems, there are 25 species of mammals to be found in the dense forests and scrubs. They are not as easy to observe because they are always hiding or running away mostly due to the presence of human. The interface between meadow and forest is also favoured by many animal species because of the proximity of open areas for foraging and cover for protection. The forests provide refuge to the rare golden jackal and the globally endangered red fox, which is the most common and widespread fox species in the world. The swamps and woodlands also contain a number of endangered species such as the nearly extinct roe deer and otter.

/Klara Ruci/