Small Prespa Lake
|Small Prespa Lake|
|Location||Balkans (primarily Greece, Albania – a small part)|
|Basin countries||Greece, Albania|
|Surface area||46.8 km2 (18.1 sq mi)|
|Max. depth||7.7 m (25 ft)|
|Surface elevation||853 m (2,799 ft)|
|Islands||Agios Achillios, Vidronisi|
Small Prespa Lake (Greek: Λίμνη Μικρή Πρέσπα, Limni Mikri Prespa; Albanian: Prespa e Vogël, Macedonian: Мало Преспанско Езеро, Malo Prespansko Ezero) is a lake shared between Greece (138 km² drainage area; 42.5 km² surface area) and Albania (51 km² drainage area; 4.3 km² surface area). It is the smaller of the two Prespa Lakes.
Small Prespa Lake in particular has been recognized as an important wetland ecosystems favoring breeding and feeding of rare water bird species. It is best known for hosting the largest breeding colony of the Dalmatian pelican in the world. The flora in the region is composed of more than 1,500 plant species of which 146 endemic species in the Lake Ohrid and 39 endemic species from the Prespa Lakes.
During 1970 significant amounts of water from the Devoll river was diverted into the lake with the intention to use it latter during the summer time for the irrigation purposes. Due to the high suspended solids in the river water significant siltation did occur on the Albanian side. The practice has recently stopped. The Albanian part of this lake has a surface of 420 hectares. In 1999 the Society for the Protection of Prespa received the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award for its conservation efforts regarding the Lake Prespa Ramsar site.
Small Prespa Lake contains the island of Agios Achilleios (Saint Achilleus); in February 1948, in the midst of the Greek Civil War, Nikos Zachariadis, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece, married Roula Koukoulou, his long-time lover, on this island, in a widely publicized ceremony.
Located on the island of Agios Achilleios is also the Basilica of Saint Achillius of Larissa. It is an example of the survival of Early Christian architectural style in the Byzantine period. Agios Achilleios was also an early capital of Bulgarian ruler Samuel in the 10th century. The island became a tourist and fishing centre in the 1970s.
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