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Mount Dajt seen from the Dajti Ekspres Cable Car, July 2007
|Elevation||1,613 m (5,292 ft)|
Mount Dajt (Albanian: Mali i Dajtit) is a mountain in central Albania, to the east of Tirana. Its highest peak is at 1,613 m (5,292 ft). In winter, the mountain is often covered with snow, and it is a popular retreat to the local population of Tirana that rarely sees snow falls. Its slopes have forests of pines, oak and beech.
In 1966, Dajti Mountain was declared “National Park” and has since 2006 an expanded area of about 29,384 ha. It is under the jurisdiction and administration of Tirana Forest Service Department.
The big similarity of this park vegetation to that of Central Europe highlands is the first thing that strikes the eye in the stretch characterized by oak forest. Vegetation types found in Dajti National Park are oak forest, pine forest, composed of Balkan pine, found in rocky slopes in the middle of oak forest. While broad-leaved forests appear in the northwest foothills. The plane forest lies along Tirana river. Whereas Mediterranean forest appears in lower heights. The Central Park has a great variety with about 44 species of forest trees and shrubs, which cover about 80% of the territory, herbaceous plants, animals and wild birds, two dominant peaks, the “balconies”, standing on steep rocks, winter snow and a relatively high altitude from sea level, ranging from 300 meters to the highest peak of 1613 meters, in the 4 phyto-climatic areas and a counter direction providing abundance of sunny days, and consequently, a fresher climate and cleaner air than the plateau on which Tirana lies.
There are amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Some of these species appear only in limited areas, to be mentioned are several amphibious species that appear in several basins of eastern slope of Priske Mountain. Even Tirana Mountain gorge presents an importance from fauna viewpoint. Birds such as mountain eagle and sparrow hawk build their nest in this area. This habitat represents also a possible area for carnivores as the gray bear and the wolf, which are often found in the area. While rivers of Tirana, Terkuze and Erzeni, where they flow on flat surfaces, are favorable for the growth of many species of fish and vertebrates, and otter, which is threatened throughout Europe. This type is found rarer exemplars in this basin.
A serious environmental problem on mountain Dajt is how to deal with garbage. This is partially caused by restaurants and hotels that leave rubbish everywhere since there are few garbage bins in the region. Another major problem on the mountain is deforestation. For this responsible are the Ministry of the Environment, the Municipality of the region, the foresters (rangers) and the people who live in the area. Water pollution of the lake and air pollution caused by cars crossing the mountain roads are also problematic.
Mount Dajti National Park
|Mount Dajti National Park|
River on Dajti
Mount Dajti National Park (also Dajti Mountain National Park) (Albanian:Parku Kombëtar i Malit të Dajtit or Parku Kombëtar i Dajtit) is situated 26 km east of the capital and 50 km east of Tirana International Airport Mother Teresa. The park has a surface area of 29,384 hectares, is highly frequented by day and considered the 'Natural Balcony of Tirana'.
Dajti Mountain together with Priska Mountain (1353m) to the south and Brari Mountain to the North consists of the national park. The 3,300 hectares (33 km2) protection area was expanded on 21 June 2006 by many more times with the core zone now being 9,000 hectares (90 km2). In addition to the forests and beautiful mountain landscapes with many wild flowers, numerous mammals are protected as well. In the park there exist wild boar, eurasian wolf, red fox, European hare, brown bears and wildcats. In the lower part of the mountains the vegetation is scrub determined with much heath, myrtle and fragaria. Oak dominates at around the 1,000 metres altitude zone following with beech forests with some conifers. Perched on the top there is almost no vegetation.
Brari Mountain to the north is also part of the protected area located near Brar village and containing the panoramic Brari Canyon, Brari Ottoman Bridge and a cave. One of Tirana's main water sources, Bovilla Lake is located to the northeast of Brar village. On the other extremity of the park along Erzeni River an impressive canyon is found called the Erzen Canyon. In addition, there exists a protected area declared by the Albanian government as the Mali me Gropa-Biza-Martaneshi Protected Landscape featuring mountain meadows, forests, and several rivers. Prior to the 90s, this area served as one of the places where opponents of the communist regime were rounded up during communism in Albania.
Dajti Mountain can be reached through a narrow asphalted mountain road onto an area known as Fusha e Dajtit. This was the location of a summer camp but now is the site of many restaurants and radio/TV transmitters. From this small area there is an excellent view of Tirana and its plain. This is the reason this place has been named as the Balcony of Tirana. From June 2005, hikers and visitors of the mountain can use an Austrian built gondola lift from the eastern outskirts of Tirana to Fusha e Dajtit (Plain of Dajti) at 1050 meters altitude. On the summit of Mount Dajti there exist several transmitters of radio and television.
Lately, traces of prehistoric settlements and fortifications from later periods have been discovered in the area.
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