Lake Skadar flora and fauna
Lake Skadar's ecosystem is very complex. It is of a sub-Mediterranean type dominated by freshwater and wetland biotopes, particulary along the northern shore, as well as by presence of scrub forests, garigues and rocky terrains on the south karst slopes, which on the whole indicates the floristic and vegetation diversity and abundance.
During summer, floating wetland species, white and yellow water lilies and water caltrop (kasaronja), cover large areas of water, giving the lake a recognizable feature. Extending from them, one can find a wide and dense population of reeds and sedges.
Different species of willows exist in floodable fields, forming willow groves, as well as a dense willow forest along the Morača river confluence. On land, along the north side, there are trees of endemic Skadar oak (Qurcus robur scutariensis), protected as a rare endangered species.
Many endemic , rare, medicinal, melliferous and aromatic species grow on the south shore. The endemic flora includes: serbica ramonda, yellow wild tulip, vincetoxicum huteri. The species protected by law include: gentle snake's head fritillary, saffron, pea-tree, moltkea petrea, silky and Dalmatian greenweed, wild fennel, moon carrot, while medicinal and melliferous include: wormwood, heather, immortelle, rosemary, laurel, hawthorn, thyime, St. John's wort, and others.
Thanks primarily to preserved ecosystems and inaccessibility of some parts of the lace, particularly along northern, marshy shore, Lake Skadar is a „paradise for birds“ with 280 bird species, most of them rare and endangered. The most popular are curly pelican, grey, white and yellow heron, grebes, wild ducks, moorhens etc.
The overall ornithifauna represents an important element of the Lake Skadar biodiversity and a stability factor for wetland ecosystem, as well as a hot spot, i.e. the most important area for wetland birds in Europe during their nesting and wintering season. The richness and diversity of ichtyiofauna are illustrated by facts showing that there are 48 species of fish living in the waters of the Lake Skadar basin, of which 15 are endemic. In addition to autochthonous species, such as eel, mullet, flathead mullet and Alice shad is also very interesting.
With its wide area of wetland vegetation and floodable fields, then areas nearby streams and in wet forest areas, the lake is an ideal habitat for a large number of amphibians. The protected species of amphibians include: big toad, green toad, tree-toad, smooth newt, Skadar green toad and others. The fauna of reptiles from Lake Skadar and its surroundings includes numerous protectes species, of which many are endemic, such as the sharp-snouted rock lizard, house gecko, Karst lizard, brown lizard, garter snake, striped garter snake and others.