Country/territory: Albania

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

Area: 1,500 ha

Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2013 not assessed high low
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2000 baseline)
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.

Key biodiversity
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.

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