Field Visit to Long beach IPA and Skadar Lake IPA

In the framework of the 1st Mediterranean Plant Conservation Week, Green Home will organize a one-day field visit to  Long beach IPA and Skadar Lake IPA.

On this occasion, the participants will be introduced to the diversity of plant species and habitats of these two selected IPA, which will be presented by guides, botanists from the University of Montenegro. Also, participants will have the opportunity to see what the biggest threats to biodiversity are and how Green Home fights them.

Long Beach in Ulcinj (orig. Velika Plaža) is the longest beach on the Adriatic coast, approximately 12 km long, at the south-eastern end at which it is located. It is famous by the best preserved habitat of psammophytic vegetation in Montenegrin coastal area and on whole eastern Adriatic coast as well.

Long beach is characterized by its great biological values, and because of that, it is included in the list of IPA habitats in Montenegro, but also, up to now, ten NATURA 2000 habitats are reported on this beach.

For now, on Long beach have been recorded 23 species protected by national legislation, but it is assumed that this number is higher. Among them, Calystegia soldanella, Pancratium maritime, Cakile maritima stands out.

Nevertheless, rapid development of tourism and unplanned urbanization seriously endanger its wildlife. In the last 10 years, Long Beach and its hinterland have been exposed to intensive anthropogenic pressure, mainly tourism development and urbanization. In order to improve tourist facilities, the construction of buildings, roads, parking places and beach furniture has intensified. This has resulted in an increase of illegal waste disposal and the spread of alien species.

Skadar Lake (orig. Skadarsko jezero) is located on the Montenegrin-Albanian border and is the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula. Its area varies seasonally, in the range from 354 to 505.8 km2, while the water level fluctuates from 4.7 to 10 m.

Skadar Lake is one of the most important biodiversity centres in the Western Balkans. Skadar Lake and the surrounding are home for 725 species of vascular plants, which represent one fifth of the total number of registered plant species in Montenegro. On national level, it is especially important from the aspect of diversity, since 164 species of aquatic plants significantly exceed the diversity of other freshwater basins in Montenegro. Among them, as a striking feature of the lake stand Numphae alba, Nuphar lutea, Trapa natans, and Scirpus sp.

Destruction of habitats is the most significant pressures on biodiversity in general, and on Skadar Lake it is especially present due to the development of tourism, agricultural activities, material exploiting, etc. Also, big threats to the biodiversity are non-native plants that are rapidly multiplying and damaging the natural floristic composition of plant communities, endangering native plants. Among them, Amorpha fruticosa, Ailanthus altissima and Robinia pseudoacacia stands out.

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