Vjosa: The Europe’s last wild river

The Vjosa River in Albania is of pan-European or even global importance. Along its 270 km flow it represents one of the last intact large river systems in Europe, flowing from the Pindus Mountains in Greece to the Adriatic Sea without artificial obstacles. Vjosa valley covers almost 16% of Albania’s territory. Despite the lack of extended studies, due to variety of natural habitats, this part of the country creates the possibility of an ecological continuance giving shelter to a rich biodiversity. Dimension, complexity and integrity of river habitats along the Vjosa are unique within Europe. The braided river system is characterized by large gravel banks with pioneer vegetation, islands, side arms, oxbows, ponds, and alluvial forests of native vegetation that provides breeding ground for typical bird species.

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