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Important Plant Areas of Montenegro

Number of IPAs:27
Area of IPAs: 708,606 hectares
Number/Area of IPAs in Protected Areas: 11 IPAs

Montenegro covers 14,000 km2

an expanse of body of water - a bay with a mountainous backdrop

Montenegro covers an area of almost 14,000 km² and has two biogeographic zones: Mediterranean and Alpine. Montenegro borders Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia. On a European scale Montenegro is believed to have the greatest number of vascular plants per unit area, and contains many national and Balkan endemics – Asperula, Campanula, Dianthus, Edrianathus and Ophrys are just a few of the important genera.


The natural and semi-natural habitats are characterised by forest (oak, beech and coniferous), grasslands, and the coastal habitats of the Adriatic Sea.

Montenegro has 27 IPAs, covering 708,606 hectares. IPAs in Montenegro are largely made up of habitat mosaics, other than 3 sites which are 100% marine. Broadleaved deciduous woodland occurs at the most sites (19), followed by coniferous forests (14) and mixed forests (8). Predominant grassland habitats are mesic (8), sub alpine and alpine (8) and dry (5). Forest (woodland) habitats are the most frequent with significant coverage on most of the sites where they occur. Grassland, cultivated and inland water habitats are also frequent.

16 of Montenegro’s 27 IPAs (nearly 60%) are unprotected. The other 40% have some level of official national protection on all or part of the site.


Tourism and recreation are the dominant land use at 81% of sites and thus, unsurprisingly, development threatens 78%, with over half of the sites threatened specifically by tourist development. This is a particular problem on the coast.

Forestry and mixed agriculture take place on almost half of Montenegrin IPAs and low level wild plant harvesting on one third. One third of sites are also threatened by deforestation and burning of vegetation. The mismanagement of water resources threatens five lake and coastal IPAs at an acute level. In Montenegro climate change is recognised as one of the top ten threats to IPAs.

Relevant publication:

Important Plant Areas in Central and Eastern Europe

Pages 74 – 75

IPA data

Montenegro IPA data