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Lake Scutari and Lake Ohrid, Balkan Peninsula – April 15th, 2009

April 15th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Albania - April 9th, 2009

Albania - April 9th, 2009

Lake Scutari, also called Lake Skadar and Lake Shkodër, is a lake on the border of Montenegro andAlbania. It is the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula; two-thirds are located in Montenegro.

Its surface, 6 m (20 ft) above sea level, can vary between 370 km² (142.9 sq mi) and 530 km² (204.6 sq mi).

The lake is a cryptodepression, filled by the Morača River and drained into the Adriatic by the 41 km (25 mi) long Bojana River, which forms the international border on the lower half of its length.

Another body of water, Lake Ohrid, is visible to the southeast of Lake Scutari. Ohrid straddles the mountainous border between the southwestern region of the Republic of Macedonia and eastern Albania.

Lake Ohrid is the deepest lake of the Balkans, with a maximum depth of 288 m (940 ft) and a mean depth of 155 m (508 ft). It covers an area of 358 km² (138 sq mi), containing an estimated 55.4 km³ of water. It is 30.4 km long by 14.8 km wide at its maximum extent with a shoreline length of 87.53 km.

Coastline and Lakes of Albania – August 8th, 2009

40.9N 20.6E

August 8th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Albania - July 27th, 2009

Albania - July 27th, 2009

Sediments line the coast of Albania, which is 362 kilometers long and extends along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Several sizeable lakes can also be observed: these are the three largest and deepest tectonic lakes of the Balkan Peninsula, all of which are partly located in Albania.

Lake Scutari, also called Shkodër and Skadar, in the country’s northwest (upper left corner), has a surface which can vary between 370 km2 (140 sq mi) and 530 km2, out of which one third belongs to Albania and rest to Montenegro. The Albanian shoreline of the lake is 57 km (35 mi). It is included in the Ramsar list of wetlands of international importance.

Lake Ohrid is situated in the country’s southeast (right of center) and is shared between Albania and Republic of Macedonia. It has a maximal depth of 289 meters and a variety of unique flora and fauna can be found there, including “living fossils” and many endemic species.

Because of its natural and historical value, Ohrid Lake is under the protection of UNESCO, as human activity on the lake shores and in its catchment area has resulted in the ecosystem coming under stress.

Prespa (to the right of Lake Ohrid) is the name of two freshwater lakes shared by Greece, Albania, and the Republic of Macedonia. Of the total surface area, 190 km² belongs to the Republic of Macedonia, 84.8 km² to Greece and 38.8 km² to Albania. They are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans, standing at an altitude of 853 m (2,798 ft).

The Great Prespa Lake is divided between Albania, Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, while the Small Prespa Lake is shared only between Greece and Albania. With an abundance of rare fauna and flora, the area was declared a Transnational Park in 2000.

Fires in southeastern Albania

September 8th, 2008 Category: Fires

September 8th, 2008 - Fires in southeastern AlbaniaAlbania

September 8th, 2008 - Fires in southeastern Albania

Smoke from fires burning in southeastern Albania flowed southwards towards the Mediterranean when the MERIS on the Envisat satellite captured this image on September 8th, 2008.

Albania has a total area of 28,750 square kilometers. Its coastline is 362 kilometres long and extends along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The lowlands of the west face the Adriatic Sea. The 70% of the country that is mountainous is rugged and often inaccessible from the outside.

The highest mountain is Korab situated in the district of Dibra, reaching up to 2,753 metres (9,032 ft). The country has a continental climate at its high altitude regions with cold winters and hot summers. Besides the capital city of Tirana, which has 800,000 inhabitants, the principal cities are Durrës, Elbasan, Shkodër, Gjirokastër, Vlorë, Korçë and Kukës.

The three largest and deepest tectonic lakes of the Balkan Peninsula are located in Albania. Lake Scutari in the country’s northwest has a surface of 368 km², out of which 149 km² belong to Albania. The Albanian shoreline of the lake is 57 km. Ohrid Lake is situated in the country’s southeast and is shared between Albania and Macedonia. It has a maximal depth of 289 meters and it is so old that a unique flora and fauna can be found there, including “living fossils” and many endemic species. Because of its natural and historical value, Ohrid Lake is under the protection of UNESCO.

Over a third of the territory of Albania – about a million hectares (2.5 million acres) – is forested and the country is very rich in flora. About 3.000 different species of plants grow in Albania, many of which are used for medicinal purposes.

Phytogeographically, Albania belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Adriatic and East Mediterranean provinces of the Mediterranean Region and the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region. According to the WWF and Digital Map of European Ecological Regions by the European Environment Agency, the territory of Albania can be subdivided into three ecoregions: the Illyrian deciduous forests, Pindus Mountains mixed forests and Dinaric Mountains mixed forests. The forests are home to a wide range of mammals, including wolves, bears, wild boars, and chamois. Lynx, wildcats, pine martens and polecats are rare, but survive in some parts of the country.

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