Lake Skadar is a large lake in Europe, situated on the border between Albania and Montenegro. The lake is classified as a karst lake, meaning it was formed through the collapse of subterranean caves, and is the largest lake in southern Europe. The lake's surface area fluctuates seasonally, ranging from 140 square miles in dry months to about 200 square miles. The lake plays a significant ecological role and is home to numerous species of fish, such as eel, carp, and bleak. Seven species of fish in Lake Skadar are endemic to the lake. In addition to fish, the lake is home to other types of marine life such as snails, otters, and snakes. Most of the lake's water, which may be as high as 60% according to some estimates, is supplied by the Morača, a large river in Montenegro. Other major sources of water are situated underground. The lake is also connected to the Adriatic Sea by the the Bojana River. Historically, the area on which Lake Skadar is situated was a bay of the Adriatic Sea. However, due to changing geographical conditions, the bay was cut off and eventually became a lake.
Lake Skadar in Albania
In Albania, the lake is referred to as Lake Shkodër, and is named after Shkodër, a city in the northern region of the country. Estimates suggest that roughly one-third of Lake Skadar's area is situated within Albania's borders. The Albanian section of the lake was declared a managed nature reserve in order to aid in the conservation of the lake's natural beauty. In Albania, the lake is a major tourist attraction, mainly because of its scenic beauty, as well as the wide variety of wildlife.
Lake Skadar in Montenegro
Approximately two-thirds of Lake Skadar's area is situated within Montenegro's borders. In 1983, the Montenegrin section of the lake was officially designated as a national park. Several Montenegrin towns are located close to the lake, the largest of which is Rijeka Crnojevića. The city is one of the most historic towns in the area, as its history dates back to the 15th century, when it was captured by the Ottomans. In the modern era, the area around the lake attracts large numbers of tourists given its beauty and the presence of a significant number of animals. In response, several hotels have been established in the area to cater to the large number of tourists who visit the lake. The biggest challenge facing the Montenegrin portion of Lake Skadar is the country's poor waste management system. Litter from cities such as Podgorica and Niksic often ends up in the lake. The government has attempted to encourage people to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the lake. The Montenegrin government has also attempted to increase the number of tourists that visit the area.
Significance of Lake Skadar
Lake Skadar is essential to both Albania and Montenegro because of the large numbers of tourists it attracts each year. The governments of both nations have invested heavily to increase the number of tourists who visit the lake each year, primarily through advertising.