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Fauna and Flora

Albania has a remarkable variety of plants and also some of the last refuges of rare mammals and birds that have disappeared from other regions of the Balkans. In both cases, distribution is largely affected by the division of the country into the lowland and highland regions, with climatic conditions that are dominated by Mediterranean and continental influences, in eachcase.
Although the coastal marshes supported a rich wildlife, some of them has been threatened by land drainage and some species, such as the Dalmatian Pelican , are virtually extinct. But the remoteness and underpopulation of many areas, and the large surviving areas of forest, have provided refuges for many birds, plants and animals.

The extensive oak, conifer, and beach forests provide a home for the wolf, the fox, the jackal and the ferret, while the pine forest contains the brown bear, an endangered species, the pine marten, two kinds of wild cat, the lynx and the weasel. Roe deer, chamois and wild boars are common in some areas. Albania has no less than 14 species of bat, and about 350 native birds.
They include migratory and non-migratory species. Residents include crows, sparrows, indigenous duck such as the shoveller duck, two varieties of partridge, pheasants and herons.
Two rare species of grouse inhabit the dense pine forests on the high mountains. Birds of prey are common in many localities, including eagles, falcons, buzzard,sparrow hawk, and several varieties of owl, including the boarded owl, the horned owl and the little owl . 
The most common migratory birds include the nightingale, the stork, swallows,cuckoos, larks,thrushes, geese, pigeons, and woodcock.
Albanian reptiles include the water snake, the house snake, the fourline snake, the Montpellier snake and the very poisonous Balkan adder. There are many varieties of toads, frogs, salamanders and lizards, some unique to Albania, as well as two species of tortoise, the common and the Mediterranean.

Albanian Fish
About 260 varieties of fish inhabit Albanian waters, with most common varieties of Mediterranean fish being found along the coastline, and trout dominating the mountain streams.
Lakes are inhabitated by carp, eels, and other coarse fish and otters live on the banks in some places. Ohrid lake has a unique member of the trout family, called Koran ( a survivor of tumultuous upheavals) which is delicious to eat; it is also found in lake Prespa and in lake Baikal in Siberia.
Albania is one of the richest areas for plant life in the Mediterranean.
3221 different types of plant grow in Albania, divided in two clear groups, those that grow either side of a line running north- south from Shkodra to Leskovik.
To the west there is typical Mediterranean flora ( about 35 % of the total of the plant life);
To the east there are the plants that grow in the mountainous part of the country.
In the country there are 489 plants, which are characteristic of the Balkan peninsula, about 40 of which are unique to Albania.
Oak forest makes up about 20 % of the forested area of the whole country.In other areas, Mediterranean scrub is dominant up to altitudes of 800 m. Much of the remaining forest is of pine and beech, depending largely on altitude, with the tree line in northern Albania at about1600 m, 1800 m in central Albania, and reaching up to 2300 m in the most sheltered places in the south.

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