A Bird Paradise under Threat

25.06.2018

© Mihailo Jovicevic/CZIP

The Ulcinj Salina, in the extreme south of Montenegro, is one of the most important wetland areas in the Balkans. The significance of these salt pans for migratory birds is commonly compared with that of London Heathrow Airport for its air traffic. And the Salina is indeed a hub for bird migration along the Adriatic Flyway. Thousands of wading and water birds rest there each year in the spring and autumn and refuel for the rest of their energy-sapping flight.
 

However, this avian Eldorado is under threat. Despite its immense significance for European bird populations, the salina is not officially protected, and has become a target of speculation for investors who are out to make a fast buck. At the same time, the legal situation is confused: In a rather opaque process the Salina was privatised in 2005, but, ever since then, its ownership has still not been legally established.


 

What is clear, on the other hand, is that the quality of the area for birds has declined in recent years. After salt production was stopped in 2013, the infrastructure of the Salina has been decaying and the dams have been deteriorating. Areas are being flooded with fresh water, causing the Salina to lose its attractiveness for bird species with an affinity for salt water.

 

EuroNatur and its local partner organisations are fighting for the preservation of the Ulcinj Salina with the #SaveSalina Campaign. You, too, can help us in our fight to save this jewel  on the Adriatic coast by signing the petition for the protection of Ulcinj Salina here: savesalina.net