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Location Serbia, Kosovo and Metohia-Metohia
Central coordinates 20o 57.00' East  42o 10.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, B2
Area 105,508 ha
Altitude 450 - 2,651m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia (Affiliate)

Site description Situated in the far south of Serbia in Kosmet province, being a transboundary IBA that stretches across into Macedonia (`Sara mountains'; Macedonian site 001). The main mountain-ridge is surrounded by low-lying valleys and glacial lakes, with dry grassland slopes broken by numerous rivers/streams. Coniferous and broadleaved forest (pine Pinus, beech Fagus and oak Quercus) and alpine pastures are also present. Human activities include cattle-grazing.

Key Biodiversity Important for breeding species of upland habitats, including four of the ten species in Europe that are restricted (when breeding) to the Eurasian high-montane (alpine) biome. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aegypius monachus (non-breeding).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca resident  1996-2008  200-300 breeding pairs  B2  Near Threatened 
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus resident  1996-2006  40-60 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos resident  1996-2006  5-7 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Short-toed Snake-eagle Circaetus gallicus breeding  1996-2006  3-5 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Corncrake Crex crex breeding  1996-1998  20-30 breeding pairs  medium  A1  Least Concern 
Eurasian Eagle-owl Bubo bubo resident  1996-2008  10-15 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus breeding  1996-1998  30-60 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus resident  1996-2006  120-170 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria resident  1996-2006  10-15 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis resident  1996-1998  15-25 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris resident  1996-1998  50-70 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sar planina National Park 39,000 protected area contained by site 39,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland; Treeline ecotone  40%
Shrubland Scrub  5%
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland; Dry siliceous grassland; Humid grasslands; Mesophile grasslands  40%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Raised bogs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  5%
Caves and subterranean habitats (non-aquatic) Caves  -
Artificial - terrestrial Forestry plantations; Ruderal land; Urban parks and gardens  5%
Rocky areas Inland cliffs; Scree & boulders  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 40%
forestry 40%
nature conservation and research 60%
tourism/recreation 10%
not utilised 20%
hunting 70%

Protection status National Partial International None39,000 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Šar Planina, 39,000 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Sara mountain. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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