Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park

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Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Qarrishte.JPG
A view of mountains within the park
Map showing the location of Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park
Map showing the location of Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park
Location Librazhd District
Nearest city Librazhd, Prrenjas
Coordinates 41°11′55.40″N 20°28′25.91″E / 41.1987222°N 20.4738639°E / 41.1987222; 20.4738639Coordinates: 41°11′55.40″N 20°28′25.91″E / 41.1987222°N 20.4738639°E / 41.1987222; 20.4738639
Area 33,927.7 hectares (339.277 km2)
Designation National Park
Established 21 May 2008[1]

The Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park (Albanian: Parku Kombëtar Shebenik-Jabllanicë) is a national park situated along the border with the Republic of Macedonia in the eastern corner of Albania. It encompasses 33,927.7 square kilometres (3,392,770 ha) of mountainous terrain, glacial lakes, dense coniferous and deciduous forests and alpine landscapes.[2] Elevations in the park vary from 300 metres to over 2,200 metres above the Adriatic at the peak of Shebenik Mountain, which along with Jabllanica Mountain gives the name of the park. Inside the park region dwell a number of different species that are fast becoming rare in Southeastern Europe, including the brown bear, gray wolf, european otter chamois and the endangered balkan lynx.[3][4]

Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park is managed by a directorate subordinated to the Ministry of Environment and based in the towns of Librazhd and Prrenjas. The park is divided into four zones, namely the core zone (Zona Qëndrore), sustainable use zone (Zona Përdorimi Qëndrushem), recreation zone (Zona Rekreative) and traditional use zone (Zona Përdorimi Tradicional).[5] It is among the newest and the second largest national park in Albania. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the park as Category II. The park also includes the Rajca Nature Reserve.[6] 212,945 hectares (2,129.45 km2) of the territory forms a part of the Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe, that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. Furhtermore, it is also part of the European Green Belt, which serves as a retreat for endangered mammals and plant species.

Under the Köppen climate classification, the park experiences mostly oceanic climate (Cfb) with cool summers and cool cold winters but also subarctic climate (Dfc) with very cold winters and short, cool to mild summers. Annual average precipitation is between 1,300mm and 1,800 mm dependent on location within the park[7] The park falls within the Dinaric Mountains mixed forests terrestrial ecoregion of the Palearctic Temperate broadleaf and mixed forest. The forests are home to a number of different rare and endemic species of plants, mammals and fungi. The park contains beech, fir, pines, and oak species as well as species such as purple willow, norway maple, silver birch, and silver fir in the northern slopes of the park. There are a number of rare and endemic plant species such as the Albanian rock rose, greenwed, Albanian pansy, Dukagjini pansy, and Rock grevillea. Bird species include the golden eagle, western capercaillie, and hazel grouse.

The park is dominated by mountains, which were carved into their present shapes by the glaciers of the last ice age. It is home to 14 glacial lakes, the highest situtated between 1,500 and 1,900 metres elevation above the Adriatic.[8] Small cirque glaciers are fairly common in the mountain ranges, situated in depressions on the side of many mountains. Two rivers flow and multiple smaller water sources flow through the park's area including the Qarrishte river and Bushtrice river, both of which are 22 km long. The park area is thought to contain one of the primary remaining ranges of the balkan lynx subspecies of the eurasian lynx. On 21 April 2011, the Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania research team got the first photo of an alive balkan lynx living within the boundaries of the national park.

Alpine pasture near Fushë Stude
The Eurasian lynx[9] nests in the park
Shebenik mountain

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vendim Nr. 640 (21. Mai 2008): Për shpalljen „Park kombëtar“ të ekosistemit natyror Shebenik-Jabllanicë" (PDF). mjedisi.gov.al (in Albanian). p. 1. 
  2. ^ "RRJETI I ZONAVE TE MBROJTURA NE SHQIPERI" (PDF). Albanian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Water Administration. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  3. ^ "Proclamation of the natural ecosystem of Shebenik – Jabllanica as a "National Park"". Cat Specialist Group. 
  4. ^ http://www.kora.ch/news/archiv/20110503.htm
  5. ^ Euronatur. "Report of the Excursion to Ancient Beech Forests in Albania and Macedonia" (PDF). euronatur.org. p. 15. 
  6. ^ Euronatur. "BEECH FORESTS ALONG THE GREEN BELT ALBANIA" (PDF). euronatur.org. p. 9. 
  7. ^ Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment of Albania (2009). Shebeniku Jabllanica Hiking Map
  8. ^ Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment of Albania (2009). Shebeniku Jabllanica Hiking Map
  9. ^ European Green Belt. "Balkan Green Belt as Ecological Corridor for Wolf, Bear and Lynx". europeangreenbelt.org.