|Central coordinates||19o 26.00' East 41o 52.00' North|
|Altitude||0 - 50m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2000|
Ornithological information Herons, Platalea leucorodia and Phalacrocorax pygmeus used to breed inside the reserve, close to the mouth of the Buna river, but they no longer do so, probably due to increased illegal disturbance and wood-cutting inside the reserve. The birds now breed on Ada island, on the Montenegro side of the river, but still use the habitat on the Albanian side for feeding. The site is also important for wintering waterfowl (max. 8,000 individuals in 1993) and for migratory waterbirds.
Site description The site includes two coastal areas: the Viluni (or Velipoja lagoon) (390 ha) and surrounding Velipoja Game Reserve (694 ha); and the inland Dumi wetland (Keneta e Dumit) comprising a large reedbed. Viluni lagoon is a large, shallow coastal lagoon at the feet of a rocky and forested mountain area (Bregulbunes mountains). The surrounding marshes and the Dumi wetland are drained by a channel. Sand-dunes, beaches and small brackish pools are found along the coastline, while along the Buna river and its delta (to the north and within the IBA) there is riparian deciduous woodland. The main land-uses are hunting, fishing, agriculture and tourism.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus||passage||1996||49 individuals||good||A1||Least Concern|
|Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus||winter||1996||33-62 individuals||good||A1||Least Concern|
|Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga||winter||1996||3 individuals||good||A1||Vulnerable|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Velipoja IBA||Game Reserve||694||protected area overlaps with site||694|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Broadleaved deciduous woodland||20%|
|Shrubland||Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis; Scrub||15%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Rivers and streams; Standing brackish and salt water; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation||-|
|Sea||Sea inlets and coastal features||10%|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Arable land; Forestry plantations||10%|
|Coastline||Lagoons; Sand dunes & beaches||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Management considerations Drainage, poaching, hunting and disturbance to birds are the main threats. Stricter adherance to the legislation within the reserve may make it possible for the breeding colony to re-establish.
Protection status National Partial International None694 ha of IBA covered by Game Reserve (694 ha).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Velipoja. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/06/2013
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