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Location Albania, Fier,Lushnjë
Central coordinates 19o 25.00' East  40o 53.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2
Area 5,450 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Site description Karavasta is the largest wetland in Albania, with the Karavasta lagoon forming the largest part of the complex. The lagoon is shielded from the sea by a sandy bar (Divjaka) covered with pine forest dominated by Pinus pinaster and P. pinea. Karavasta comprises a shallow inner lagoon, and a smaller outer lagoon. The inner lagoon has many peninsulas and small, low islands with muddy shores and some areas of bare sand. A sandy bar covered by pines separates the two lagoons. In the inner lagoon only artisanal fishery is practised, but in the outer one there are more intensive fisheries.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1997  24,643 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  1997  5,162 individuals  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  1996  5,241-9,720 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba passage  1992  220 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus resident  1996  11-62 breeding pairs  good  A1, A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1996  139-171 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus passage  1996  400 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo passage  1996  1,800 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga non-breeding  1992  3 individuals  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  1996  6 individuals  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1996  1,079-1,763 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola breeding  1996  50-130 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1993  75-100 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Divjake-Karavasta National Park 22,230 protected area contained by site 5,450  
Karavasta Lagoon Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 20,000 protected area contains site 5,450  
Karavasta Lagoon IBA Game Reserve 1,200 protected area contained by site 1,200  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest; Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland  13%
Shrubland Scrub  5%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing brackish and salt water; Water fringe vegetation  -
Sea Open Sea  10%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Other urban and industrial areas  5%
Coastline Lagoons; Mud flats & sand flats; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry 15%
hunting 35%
fisheries/aquaculture 85%
nature conservation and research 15%
tourism/recreation 10%
agriculture 5%

Protection status National Partial International High1,250 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Divjaka). 4,200 ha of IBA covered by Game Reserve. 5,450 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Karavasta Lagoon; 20,000 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Karavasta Lagoon. Downloaded from on 01/11/2014

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