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Location Albania, Korçë
Central coordinates 20o 57.00' East  40o 53.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i
Area 10,000 ha
Altitude 950 m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Site description A large freshwater lake shared with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (site 006) and Greece (site 047). The total area of the lake is 27,000 ha. Up until the recent past the lake used to form one lake with Lake Mikri Prespa (IBA 004), but is now separated and 3 m lower in altitude. The Albanian sector of the lake has no marshes or reedbeds. All the surrounding areas are cultivated.

Key Biodiversity The lake is of high importance for wintering waterbirds. A total of 12,000 individuals were counted in January 1996, including Phalacrocorax pygmeus, 171 Podiceps nigricollis, 1,268 ducks of six species and over 10,000 Fulica atra. The importance of the site for migrating birds is not known. Because of lack of shore vegetation, and disturbance, the Albanian part of the lake is of minor importance for breeding waterbirds but it is part of the foraging area of several species breeding in Macedonian and Greek parts of the lake, including Pelecanus crispus, Pelecanus onocrotalus and Phalacrocorax pygmeus.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1996  462 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lake Prespa National Park National Park 0 protected area contains site 10,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland; Scrub  10%
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  85%
Rocky areas Scree & boulders  -
Caves and subterranean habitats (non-aquatic) Caves  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 85%
hunting 5%
unknown 10%

Protection status National High International None10,000 ha of IBA covered by National Park.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lake Megali Prespa. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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