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Location Albania, Shkodër
Central coordinates 19o 20.00' East  42o 10.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i
Area 14,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Site description A large freshwater lake in north-east Albania (also known as Lake Scutari), on the border with Yugoslavia (Montenegro). Oligotrophic and generally shallow except for a few very deep parts. Approximately one third of the lake lies within Albania, the remainder lies in Montenegro (Skadarsko Jezero, site 038). The main human activities are fisheries, extensive agriculture, hunting and tourism. Fisheries are the most important activity and in places are very intensive.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for wintering waterfowl, especially Phalacrocorax pygmeus and Phalacrocorax carbo. Several wintering waterfowl counts have been carried out; about 13,000 wintering waterfowl were counted in January 1995 and 1996, and 30,682 waterbirds (representing 26 species) were counted during 2-19 January 1997. Wetlands International have carried out earlier counts on the Montenegro side of the lake.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1996  596-1,073 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus non-breeding  1995  150 individuals  medium  A1  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1996  97-1,526 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  1995-1996  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lake Shkodra and River Buna Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 49,562 protected area contains site 14,000  
Pjesa shqiptare e Liqenit te Shkodres National Park 26,535 protected area contains site 14,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Ruderal land  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
hunting -
tourism/recreation -

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lake Shkodra (Lake Scadar). Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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