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Mountain Mirror

Plavsko Lake

Area in hectares: 300
Altitude: 908 m
Conservation status: Unprotected at local and national level
Coordinates: 42o35’44.48”N, 19o55’30.22”E


Plavsko Lake lies at the foothills of the Mountain Prokletije. It is the largest glacier lake in Montenegro. It is a flowing type with the River Ljuča as the biggest tributary and the River Lim as the arm. The highest depth is 9 m. River Ljuča brings large amounts of sediment from the Mountain Prokletije, forming wide belt of wetland vegetation at the place of the inflow, with periodically flooded meadows. The Lake has quite fresh and clean water, regardless of the vicinity of the city of Plav and surrounding settlements. Ornithological importance of this site is based on the unique value of flood meadows of the River Ljuča, which spreads to the town of Vusanje.


Because of the geographical location, large area and small depth, as well as good climate conditions, the Plavsko Lake provides good conditions for the development of flora and fauna. Thanks to the indigenous population of fish, as well as rich plant base, it attracts water birds, some of which are regular breeding mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; tufted duck, Aythya fuligula; coot, Fulica atra; then little grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis and bittern, Botaurus stellaris. However, significant are wet meadows, which offer excellent living conditions for birds from the IBA list of criteria, such as the endangered Corn Crake, Crex crex, with the largest breeding population of this bird species in Montenegro. Also, at the Plavsko Lake we can encounter the great crested grebe, Podiceps cristatus; black-necked grebe, Podiceps nigricollis; Common pochard, Aythya ferina; common teal, Anas crecca, several species of herons and waders.


Plavsko Lake with its surrounding area can be divided into several habitats: narrow coastal strip of swamp vegetation, with dominating reeds and cattails, extending onto wide flood meadows in the lower course of the River Ljuča. This belt extends around the entire lake in the form of the ring with different width. On the east, the steeper side of the lake, there are dry meadows, and on the west there is a belt of planted poplar trees. The surrounding the Lake is inhabited and the aforementioned meadows are used for grazing.


Plavsko Lake is protected neither at local nor at the national level. Unfortunately, it is not even inside the borders of the future NP Prokletije. Continuous loading with sediment reduces the depth of the lake, leading to water logging, increasing food base in the lake, while on other side endangering the indigenous fauna. During summer months, swimmers disturb breeders in reeds, and its removal was registered from the shores of the lake. The area around the lake still represents unexploited tourist capacity, leading to the intensified activity in recent years for the construction of catering facilities, some of which are located on the shores of the lake. Zoning of the construction around the lake is an imperative.

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