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Lakes & Karst Fields

Niksic Reservoirs

Areas in hectares: 900 + 500 + 300
Altitude: 615 – 745 m
Conservation status: Unprotected at local and national level
Coordinates: Slano Lake 42o45’23.09”N, 18o51’08.55”E; Krupac Lake 42o48’01.27”N, 18o53’11.96”E; Liverovići Lake 42o44’48.89”N, 19o03’33.23”E


Nikšić reservoirs, Slano Lake and Krupac Lake, have been formed for the needs of the Hydropower plant “Perućica”, by rearranging of the Nikšić Field on karst springs. Reservoir Liverovići is made by rearranging of the mountain river Gračanica for the needs of the Steelworks Nikšić. All of them have fresh and clean water, especially Slano and Krupac, which have constant inflow of spring water, which is discharged for the needs of the hydropower plant. Slano Lake has the biggest depth of 12 m, with jagged coastline and a lot of islands. Krupac Lake has a similar physiognomy and its depth is about 8 m, while the Liverovići Lake is the deepest, about 20 m. The surrounding of lakes is karst, with typical sub-Mediterranean vegetation. Lakes rarely freeze.


Nikšić reservoirs are wintering places for large number of birds. The lakes are also significant during migration. Food base mainly consists of artificially placed fish, and several species of invertebrates. Because these are relatively young lakes, and because constant fluctuations of the water lead to the biological minimum, there is no aquatic vegetation developed that could provide shelter for resident wetland birds. The most important object for migratory birds is the Slano Lake, with sometimes 20,000 birds. Some of the birds of Niksić reservoirs are: mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; tufted duck, Aythya fuligula; Common pochard, Aythya ferina; black necked grebe, Podiceps nigricollis; great crested grebe, Podiceps cristatus; Black-headed gull, Larus ridibundus; Eurasian coot, Fulica atra; red-throated loon, Gavia stelatta etc. Apart from the reservoirs, flooded Budoške ponds are interesting for the birds, as well as many smaller water objects created by karst processes, rich with food, where one can meet woodcocks like common redshank, Tringa totanus; little ringed plover, Charadrius dubius; common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos; common snipe, Gallinago gallinago; than songbirds like Eurasian skylark, Alauda arvensis; red backed shrike, Lanius collurio; white and yellow wagtail, Motacilla albaM. cinerea; robin, Erithacus rubecula etc. In the surrounding forests there are the following species: nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus; Song thrush, Turdus philomelos; nuthatch, Sitta europaea; Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus; buzzard, Buteo buteo and many others. On the banks of the Slano Lake, the colony of the Spanish sparrow, Passer hispaniolensis, is significant.


Habitats of Nikšić reservoirs have typical karst features. The banks of the Slano Lake and Krupac Lake are rocky and without vegetation, except for the islands which have forests of willow, ash and poplar. Near the lakes, there are deciduous forests of oak, hornbeam, queasy, pomegranate, holly, etc. Nikšić Field is characterised by large pastures and periodically flood and wet meadows that during the rainy season drench atmospheric water and water from karst springs. They are extremely important for the feeding of birds during migration.


Considering their purpose, Niksić reservoirs are not protected as natural objects. However, their importance for birds recommends them for protection, because they offer breeding place and place of stay for a large number of birds, and their surrounding area as well. Since they are located in a relatively unpopulated area, these lakes are not under anthropogenic hazards such as disturbance, pollution or habitat destruction. The most direct threat to wild birds is hunting, especially of migratory water birds. A constant threat in summer months is a drop of water levels below the biological minimum, which periodically leads to the disappearance of the food base for water birds.


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