Albania’s Varied Landscape
Many country’s physical environment varies, but Albania is truly special. From its Albanian Alps to its diminished oaky forests, the earthquake ridden country has a largely diverse landscape. Many factors are putting the land in danger, but Albanian people are trying to conserve their section of earth the best that they can. One of the most forgotten European countries, Albania’s land is hardly unforgettable.
Albania is squeezed between the Adriatic sea and many mountains. The country of Albania is in Europe on the coast of the Balkan Peninsula. To its northeast is Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia. To its southeast is Greece. It is on the west coast of the Balkan Peninsula, across from the heel of the Italian boot. It is northeast and east of the Strait of Otranto and the Adriatic Sea. The geographical center of Albania is 41.1533°N, 20.1683°E.
The elevation of this country varies immensely, but the size does not. The total area of Albania is 17,864 square miles. The coastline is 12 nautical miles long. Straying from the coast, the interior of Albania is highly mountainous. 70 percent of the country is over 1,000 feet elevated over the rest, which is full of valleys. The highest point in Albania is Mount Korab, and the lowest point is simply sea level. Albania has no territories or dependencies. The Albanian Alps take up a large section of the country.
Albania is 70 percent mountainous, with much of those mountains being found in the east of the country. The tallest mountain in Albania is Mount Korab, which is nestled in the Albanian Alps, which are mainly made of limestone rock. The rest of the Mediterranean country is coastal and low-lying. The coast stretches from the northern border to the city of Vlöre. It also reaches 31 miles inland. One major lake is Lake Ohrid, which contains a rare fish called the koran, which can only be found in one other place in the world in Russia. The only navigable river in Albania is the Buen?, which flows through the Albanian Alps.
Other land and water features that are not as notable are still just as beautiful. There are a few caves on the eastern coast near the most sizable lakes, and rocky highlands adjacent to the Ionian Sea’s beachy coast. There are also sandy beaches on the Adriatic Sea’s more shallow coast. Albania’s only island, Sazan, lies off the coast, west of the city of Vlor?. The Strait of Otranto connects the Ionian and Adriatic seas and borders Albania on the southwest. Some other rivers that are not navigable are the Drin, which is the longest in Albania, Mat, and Shkumbin rivers. A majority of these landforms were created by the presence of tectonic movement.
There is a presence of tectonic activity in Albania. They are responsible for all of Albania’s mountains, including Mount Korab. There are frequent tremors, and less incessant earthquakes. Albania is also affected by tsunamis. Along with these factors, Albania is affected by its climate.
Albania is influenced by an array of 2 climates. The cause of this is because it is in the transitional zone. The climate is Mediterranean in the west, but moderate continental in the east. Albania has rainy, dreary winters and dry summers in the coastal plain, but summer rainfall and colder, drier winters in the mountainous lining. Albania is in the middle latitudes, which gives it a temperate climate and four differentiated seasons. The mountains get colder in the winter with more rainfall. No ocean currents influence Albania’s climate, but on the western coast of the country, warm maritime air from the Ionian and Adriatic seas takes effect. Weather can also affect Albania.
This small European country is exceptionally precipitation prone. Albania is used to getting a bulk of rain, and cumbersome snowfall. The average annual precipitation is 40 to 100 inches, which vary all over the country. Average Albanian winters are rainy and mild, and the summers are usually hot and dry. It is commonly in the mid 70s in July and the low 30s in January in the east. On the country’s coast, it is still in the mid 70s in July, but it is in the upper 40s in January. The lowest average temperature is 34°, and the highest average is 70°, although it can change, depending on location. The only big storms that Albania gets have to do with heaps of rain. Albania can be affected by moderate flooding. Likewise, in the southwestern region during the summer months, there may be droughts, and in the rainy winter months, along may be brought cyclones. El Niño touches the Mediterranean sea and affects the temperature of Albania around the fall months of October to November. This may also influence the flora and fauna in Albania.
There are multifarious species of organisms in Albania. There have been at least three thousand plant species found, with all of Albania’s large mountains being full of life. The drier lowlands have bushes and maquis shrubs. In the low lying regions, there are sparse woods, but at higher altitudes, larger oaky, deciduous forests start. Coniferous forests full of black pine are also found in the mountains. These forests cover about one third of the total area of Albania. There are 760 vertebrate species, 80 mammal species, 350 bird species, and 140 species of distinct butterfly that make up the wildlife in Albania. A specific handful of mammals is jackals, wolves and foxes, which are mountainous creatures that are equipped with fur that can handle cold weather. Some noteworthy birds are swallows, storks, ducks, geese, and pelicans, which are all aquatic and coastal birds. There are not many freshwater fish, but one important species is the trout. The more abundant saltwater fish, sardines and mullet are found off the coast, and are all very little. In Albania, there are 3 species of mammals, 10 species of birds, 4 species of reptiles, 2 species of amphibians, and 44 species of fish that are endangered. This all includes the steppe eagle, Mediterranean monk seal, rough ray, Mediterranean pillow seal, and the near extinct meadow viper. These are endangered because of many environmental issues.
Albania’s environmental issues are existential. Albania suffers from deforestation; between 2001 and 2004, 1.6 million acres was diminished to 80,803 acres. There is an abundance of littering along its long coastline. The pollution is high because of Albania’s past communist regime. It was being cut off from the rest of the world with lots of coal and wood being used. Albania is recorded amidst other countries in its region most at risk to climate change. The summer rainfall in Albania is set to decrease by 10 percent in 2020 and 20 percent in 2050. There is little efficient enforcement of conservation efforts, although Albania agreed to harmonize with existing European Union legislation, including environmental policy. Albania reduces various emissions by adding insulation to homes and introducing more energy conserving lighting across the country. Greenhouse gas emissions are the largest blockages to fully putting the treaties into effect. In Albania, there are 260 square miles of protected land, and 35 square miles of protected marine area. There are 4 Ramsar Wetland Sites of International Importance, two of which are in major lakes, the others on the coast. There are 14 national parks, including Butrint National Park and Theth National Park, and 1 marine park, Karaburun-Sazan Marine Park.
This distinct country has extremely varied landscapes and gorgeous plants and animals, which make it unique to itself. Albania’s coast is beachy, and its mountains are rainy, but its environmental issues are concerning. The country is trying to cut down on its emissions to save its oak and pine forests. With its rainy mountains, earthquake tremors, and lengthy coastline, the interesting Mediterranean country of Albania and its physical features are astounding.