Lake Megali Prespa

Country/territory: Albania

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, B1i (2000)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 10,000 ha

Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania

Site description (2000 baseline)
A large freshwater lake shared with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (site 006) and Greece (site 047). The total area of the lake is 27,000 ha. Up until the recent past the lake used to form one lake with Lake Mikri Prespa (IBA 004), but is now separated and 3 m lower in altitude. The Albanian sector of the lake has no marshes or reedbeds. All the surrounding areas are cultivated.

Key biodiversity
The lake is of high importance for wintering waterbirds. A total of 12,000 individuals were counted in January 1996, including Phalacrocorax pygmeus, 171 Podiceps nigricollis, 1,268 ducks of six species and over 10,000 Fulica atra. The importance of the site for migrating birds is not known. Because of lack of shore vegetation, and disturbance, the Albanian part of the lake is of minor importance for breeding waterbirds but it is part of the foraging area of several species breeding in Macedonian and Greek parts of the lake, including Pelecanus crispus, Pelecanus onocrotalus and Phalacrocorax pygmeus.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Lake Megali Prespa. Downloaded from on 04/03/2024.