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Important Plant Areas of Albania

Number of IPAs: 45
Area of IPAs: 384,824 hectares
Number/Area of IPAs in Protected Areas: 11 IPAs

Albania covers 28,748km2 

Mountainous landscape with a lagoon behind the trees

Albania is situated in the northeast of the Mediterranean basin, covering 28,748km2 including 480km of coastline on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Albania shares borders with Montenegro, Kosovo, Republic of North Macedonia and Greece and is an integral part of the Balkan Peninsula, an area of considerable plant endemism.

45 IPAs have been identified in Albania covering an area of 384,824 hectares and including 15 transboundary sites: 4 with Montenegro, 2 with Kosovo, 5 with Republic of North Macedonia and 4 with Greece.


These IPAs contain a huge variety of habitats; forests, maquis, grassland and wetland and are located throughout the country, in the mountain ranges in the north, south and east as well as along the coast in the west and around the lakes in the east. 133 European threatened habitats (from the EU Habitat Directive and the Bern Convention annexes) are found in Albania and have been used alongside threatened species to identify Albania IPAs under criterion C.


The Albania flora contains 3,200 species of vascular plants of which 27 are national endemics and 160 endemic to the Balkans. Approximately 30% of the European flora is present in Albania. 196 red listed species can be found on these 45 IPAs. These are not all threatened but are frequently rare on a nationally or global scale. Many are also Albanian and/or Balkan endemic species.

Albanian IPAs are subject to various levels of protection some sites have more than one type of designation. Seven IPAs have no protected area status and for others there are no clear management plans to provide information on how to safeguard the biodiversity within them.


The main threats to IPAs in Albania are overgrazing, illegal deforestation, burning of vegetation, tourism development and recreational habitat fragmentation and eutrophication (enrichment).

Relevant publication:

Important Plant Areas of the south and east Mediterranean region

Pages 65-69

IPA data

Albania IPA data