Karavasta Lagoon This is an IBA in Danger! 

Site description (2000 baseline):

Site location and context
It is situated between the Shkumbini River in the North and the Canal of Myzeqe and Semani River in the South. In the eastern part the complex is surrounded by Divjaka hills while the western border is composed by Adriatic sea.

Key biodiversity
Circa 250 bird species have been registered here so far and among them about 15 Globally Endangered bird species, at least 80 species of the Annex 1 of the Birds Directive and some 5 bird species exceeding the 1% threshold of the biogeographic population.
Besides, Divjaka-Karavasta is home to up to 84 thousand wintering waterbirds, 12 thousand breeding birds and many more migrating waterbirds. 

The site is important for breeding colonial waterbirds, including Pelecanus crispus

The site is also potentially very important for the globally threatened Numenius tenuirostris.

Habitat and land use
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.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
A management plan has been developed. The area is threatened by plans to build a new recreation complex and by plans to drain parts of the lagoon (2017). Disturbance is high from tourists, local people and illegal fishing.

Protected areas
Karavasta is designated as National Park ihe Park comprises an area of 22230 ha.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Karavasta Lagoon. Downloaded from on 27/09/2023.