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Location Albania, Korçë
Central coordinates 21o 5.00' East  40o 50.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 800 ha
Altitude 853 - 900m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Site description The western end of a mesotrophic, shallow, natural freshwater lake, shared with Greece (site 047). It is linked to the north with the much larger Lake Megali Prespa and is fed by seasonal streams. The main surface of the Albanian part of the lake is covered by reedbeds and surrounded by rocky scrub. In winter it freezes almost completely. The area is used for many purposes including grazing by large numbers of cattle.

Key Biodiversity The lake supports very important breeding populations of Pelecanus crispus and Phalacrocorax pygmeus although the breeding sites are in the Greek section of the lake, the birds also forage within the Albanian section. In winter the Albanian part of the lake is important for Phalacrocorax pygmeus, but in general for wintering waterbirds the area is less important as it is covered by ice for several months. Little data are available on breeding birds but Chlidonias hybridus (30-50 pairs) and Ixobrychus minutus (2-20 pairs) are known to breed.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1997  81 individuals  good  A1  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 800  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   10%
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater  80%
Caves and subterranean habitats (non-aquatic)   -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
water management -
hunting -
fisheries/aquaculture -
agriculture -

Protection status National High International None800 ha of IBA covered by National Park.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lake Mikri Prespa. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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