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Wild Nature

Mountain Hajla

Areas in hectares: 2,000 Altitude: 1,100-2,400 m
Conservation status: Unprotected at local and national level
Coordinates: 42o46’09.44”N, 20o07’21.10”E


Mountain Hajla is located in the Municipality of the city of Rožaje, on the outermost east part of Montenegro. This massif forms the southern border of Rožaje basin. The River Ibar flows through the valley. The relief is characterised with numerous mountain peaks with the height above 2,000 m, canyons and gorges of mountain rivers, caves, forested hills and mountain pastures. The highest peak of the Mountain Hajla is located on the bare rocky ridge, with the belt of mountain meadows below it, evergreen and mixed forests.


The area of Hajla is one of the richest natural resources in Montenegro. Endless evergreen forests, dominated by spruce are habitats to raptors: European honey buzzard, Pernis apivorus; northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis; Eurasian sparrow hawk, Accipiter nisus; short toed snake eagle, Circaetus gallicus; peregrine falcon, Falco peregrines; tawny owl, Strix aluco; long-eared owl, Asio otus; wood grouse, Tetrao urogallus; Hazel grouse, Bonasa bonasia; six species of woodpeckers, including the endangered three-toed woodpecker, Picoides tridactylus, then the spotted nutcracker, Nucifraga caryocatactes; tree creepers, Certhia familiarisC. brachydactyla, as well as numerous forest songbirds. The open habitats, such as rocky terrain, meadows, pastures and clearings are inhabited with crested lark, Gallerida cristata; water pipit, Anthus spinoletta; rock partridge, Alectoris graeca; quail, Coturnix coturnix, while the rocky cliffs are breeding places for the Alpine Chough, Pyrrhocorax graculus and Wallcreepers, Tichodroma muraria. Slopes of Hajla are characterised with the mosaic arrangement of habitats, with belts of evergreen forests alternating with mountain meadows and pastures. At the saddle Ćafa Hajle there are stands of pine, Pinus mugo, with the following species residing: Sardinian Warbler, Sylvia atricapilla; Flycatcher, Ficedula albicollis; Wood Warbler, Phylloscopus sybilatrix; Bunting partridge, Emberiza cia. They alternate with alpine meadows, where we can encounter the forest Lark, Lullula arborea; Wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe; Mountain Redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros, and in the lower and cultivated areas, white and Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava, M. flava; on the rocky cliffs and ravines resides the common wood pigeon, Columba palumbus, and on the banks of creeks we can encounter the white-throated Dipper, Cinclus cinclus.


The area of Hajla is characterised with a large number of habitats. There is first of all the coniferous forest interspersed with clearings, which extends in the form of irregular rings from 1,100 and 2,000 m altitude. Mountain pastures and lawn meadows are above the forest belt and alternate with pine vegetation, as well as with rocky ground, which end with cliffs. Numerous streams and gullies of the catchment of the River Ibar formed deep cuts and gorges with typical flora and fauna. In the lower region there is mixed forest, as well as anthropogenic landscape with orchards and cultivated fields.


The greatest threat to natural values of the Mountain Hajla is the unreasonable legal and illegal logging and habitat destruction. Destroying of indigenous landscape leads to disappearance of specialist and endemic bird species and settlement of eurivalent species. Another anthropogenic factor of endangerment is poaching, causing the most endangered and rarest birds of Montenegro to suffer, like: the golden eagle, the great owl, vulture and the grouse, for example.


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