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Sun, Sand & Serenity

Ada Bojana Island

Area in hectares: 494
Altitude: 0-3 m
Protection status: Unprotected at local and national level, Emerald site under the Bern Convention
Coordinates: 41 ° 51’49.07 “N, 19 ° 21’39.82” E


Ada Bojana is located at the outermost southeast part of the country, along the border with Albania. The island is triangular in shape and is surrounded by the sea on one side, with the beach 3,700 m long and Bojana River on the other. Ada Bojana was, according to legend, created by the stranding ship when entering its estuary. Sand started depositing around it, and today Ada is the largest island in the delta. During the Cold War, Ada was a war zone with tightly guarded borders. This has caused for some of its parts to still have virginal look. Northern and eastern parts of the island are flooded forests, rich in biodiversity. Ada is today part of the “Green Belt Europe”. Hinterland of the beach is made of dunes, hiding unique habitats in the Mediterranean.


Ornithological importance of Ada Bojana is reflected primarily in major colonies of breeding birds: Pygmy Cormorants, Phalacrocorax pygmeus; Spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia; Little Egret, Egretta garzetta; gray heron, Ardea cinerea; Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nuctycorax; Squacco heron, Ardeola ralloides; cormorants, Phalacrocorax carbo; bittern, Botaurus Stellaris thay found their place for breeding in the flooded forest of Ada and its reeds. Ada is visited by Dalmatian pelicans, Pelecanus crispus; Levant Sparrowhawk, Accipiter brevipes, breeds there as well. The Stone Curlew, Burchinus oedicnemus, breeds behind the dunes; the nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus; more types of common moorhen, and earlier there was collared pratincole, Glareola pratincola and the Eurasian Oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus. Large number of aquatic bird species find their ideal feeding place in estuaries of the Bojana River: Sterna sp., Gavia sp., Larus sp., Mergus sp., Melanita sp. Ada meets the standards for the inclusion onto the Ramsar list of wetlands of international importance.


Floodplain forests of Ada are composed of ash, poplars, oaks and elms. The Bojana River is a corridor for migration of rare and economically important fish species heading to the Šasko Lake and Skadar Lake. Three types of endangered sturgeon, Acipenser sp. are key indicators of the value of this corridor. The logger head sea turtule, Caretta caretta, was breeding here in 2002 on the sand dunes near the state border. Her presence was registered even after that, but the breeding has not been confirmed. At flooded forests of the Ada there are golden jackals, Canis aureus, roaming and at the Bojana River bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncates.


Ada is the hunting ground of the local hunting club. It is one of the most popular nudist destinations in the Adriatic. The pressure of tourists is big and the control of their movement has been ignored. The colonies of birds that are on the Bojana River and the trip down the river would be a disturbing factor for their breeding. The breeding season overlaps with the tourist season. A boat ride should be limited to the middle of the river. The rapid tourist development of the region causes for the construction on the banks of the Bojana River, which is mostly illegal. About 300 illegal structures were built on the right arm of the Bojana River. The buildings have significantly endangered virginal appearance of the island, and have significantly influenced the water quality of the river as well, because there is no sewage system. Construction of new hotel complexes outside existing borders, and the mismatch of floors, may significantly endanger the status of the Ada as a wild beauty.


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