New Report on Narta - the Bird Lagoon in Albania


New technical report confirms the high importance of Narta Lagoon as a key site for the wetland birds in Albania.

A few kilometers north of Vlora, the KBA Narta Lagoon is one of the largest and most important coastal wetlands of Albania due to its amazing biodiversity and one of the top sites for wintering and migratory waterfowl in the country. However, the breeding avifauna of the site is still poorly studied.

In 2016, in the frame of the CEPF project “Land of Eagles and Castles”, joint teams of BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria and PPNEA conducted a survey that aimed to broaden the knowledge on the list of breeding bird species, their numbers, distribution and treats in the KBA. Relevant information for spring migrants was also collected. The survey consisted of two field visits in 2016 (April and May) and bird data were collected by the software SmartBirds Pro application for Android OS. All habitats were visited and special attention was given to register the key sites for the breeding birds within the KBA (e.g. breeding colonies) and all the major threats to the birds.

In total of 136 birds species were observed. In terms of international conservation status, two species are Vulnerable and five species are Near Threatened according to the global IUCN Red List, 58 species are considered of European conservation concern (SPEC), 67 species are listed in the EU Birds Directive, 130 species are listed in Bern Convention and 71 species are listed in Bonn Convention. In terms of national status, 33 species are included in the Red List of Albanian Flora and Fauna.

The total number of breeding birds in the KBA was estimated at 6,349 pairs from 85 species and 14 orders. The most abundant orders were Passeriformes and Charadriiformes. Amongst Charadriiformes, the most abundant breeders were the Little Tern (Sternula albifrons), Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) and Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus). In total 3,461 individuals from 80 species and 13 orders were recorded as non-breeders in the KBA. The most abundant orders were Charadriiformes, Phoenicopteriformes, Anseriformes and Passeriformes. At species level, the most numerous were Kentish Plover, Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis), Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) and Dunlin (Calidris alpina).

Habitat distribution of birds and main threats were also described. Based on the results, recommendations for future bird-friendly management, appropriate conservation activities and nature friendly tourism in the zone are made.

The full report is available here.

CEPF project Land of Eagles and Castles, PPNEA, BSPB