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Location Greece, Western Macedonia
Central coordinates 21o 3.00' East  40o 45.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C3, C6
Area 33,000 ha
Altitude 849 - 2,334m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Hellenic Ornithological Society

Site description Two freshwater lakes, Mikri and Megali Prespa, in a mountainous area. The lakes have extensive reedbeds (Phragmites) and small areas of wet meadow. The site lies adjacent to Albanian IBAs 003 and 004 and to site 006 in the FYR Macedonia.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for breeding, passage and wintering waterbirds. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aythya nyroca (3 breeding pairs).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula winter  1994  150-8,850 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  1996  10-20 breeding pairs  medium  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus breeding  1996  100 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus breeding  1996  500 breeding pairs  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C6  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus resident  1996  314-400 breeding pairs  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo breeding  1996  733 breeding pairs  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lake Mikri Prespa Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 5,078 protected area contained by site 5,225  
Prespes Core Zone in National (Woodland) Park 5,102 protected area contained by site 5,102  
Prespes National (Woodland) Park - Peripheral Zone 21,061 protected area overlaps with site 13,293  
Prespes national park (Juniperus forest) Biogenetic Reserves 12 protected area contained by site 13  
Sfikas Dimou Prespon Wildlife Refuge 6,903 protected area overlaps with site 2,277  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland; Treeline ecotone  40%
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland; Humid grasslands  -
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater  30%
Coastline Rock stacks and islets; Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 15%
fisheries/aquaculture 27%
forestry 40%
nature conservation and research 5%
water management -

Protection status National Partial International Partial900 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Vronterou, 900 ha). Part of IBA covered by Wildlife Refuge (Sfina, Prespon, 6,700 ha). 19,470 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Prespes, 19,470 ha). 12 ha of IBA covered by Biogenetic Reserve (Council of Europe) (Ethnikos Drymos Prespon (Dasos Kedron), 12 ha). 8,000 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Lakes Mikri Prespa and Megali Prespa, 8,000 ha). 26,620 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Ethnikos Drymos Prespon, 26,620 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lake Mikri Prespa and Lake Megali Prespa. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife