Liqeni i Ohrit dhe gjithe rajoni i tij ndajnë vlera të njëjta ekologjike njësoj si në zonen shqiptare ashtu dhe ate maqedonase. Nje e treta ndodhet ne Shqiperi dhe dy te tretat ndodhet ne Maqedoni. Eshte krijuar si liqen 2-3 mln vite me pare ne periudhen terciare, ndryshe nga te gjithe liqenet e tjera qe jane krijuar ne periudhen glaciale te akullnajave. Ndodhet ne lartesine 695m dhe rrethohet nga male deri ne 200 metra. Liqeni i ohrit ka nje vije bregliqenore 87.5 km dhe mbulon nje zone rreth 358 km katrore, nga e cila 249 km 2 i perksasin Maqedonise dhe 109 km katrore Shqiperise. Vija e bregut liqenor ne Shqiperi eshte 56 km. Liqeni ka thellesi mesatare 164 m dhe maksimumi eshte 289 m.
Pellgu ujembledhes i liqenit perfshin 2000 km 2 dhe perfshin Liqenin e Prespes. Ne 845 m Liqeni i Prespes qendron mbi liqenin e Ohrit dhe gjithe uji i tij derdhet ne Oher, permes poreve te malit Galicica dhe Mali i thate.
Ngaqe Liqeni eshte shume i vjeter, dhe i rrethuar nga male dhe kodra, nje koleksion unik bimesh dhe kafshesh jane zhvilluar ne kete liqen. Disa nga bimet dhe kafshet njihen si specie mijeravjecare dhe tashme konsiderohen relike apo fosile te gjalla sepse vazhdojne te jetojne ne Liqen si organizma te gjalle. Shume nga speciet e Liqenit jane endeime, si shume gjarprinj uji, kermij dhe sfungjere.
Persa i perket zogjve, jane kryesisht specie dimeruese. Ne 1999 jane raportuar 64948 zogj nga 23 specie ne kete liqen. Habitati me i madh i zogjeve eshte mes Pogradecit dhe kufirit maqedonas, dhe streha e tyre eshte pjesa shqiptare e liqenit
Natural heritage of Lake Ohrid in Albania and its conservation status
Lake Ohrid in Albania and its surroundings share similar ecological features as the area extending in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. As stated in many previous documents, Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest lakes in the world. It was formed 2-3 million years ago, in the Tertiary period. In contrast, most other lakes across the globe are only 10,000-45,000 years old, having formed in the last glacial period. Located at an altitude of 695 m and encircled by mountains exceeding 2000 m in height, Lake Ohrid, has 87.5 km of shoreline, and covers an area of about 358 km2, of which 249 km2 belongs to Macedonia and 109 km2 to Albania. The coastline of Lake Ohrid in Albania is 56 km. The lake has an average depth of 164 m and a maximum depth of 289 m. About two-thirds of the lake is in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and one third in Albania. The watershed of Lake Ohrid covers well over 2000 km2 and includes Lake Prespa. At 845 m, Lake Prespa sits above Lake Ohrid and its waters drain into Lake Ohrid through the very porous karst mountains of Galicica and Mali i Thate.
Ten of the lake’s 17 fish species are endemic. They include the salmonid Ohrid trout Salmo letnica (VU – Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) and belvica Acantolingua ohridana (VU). To date 125 vascular plant species, both terrestrial and aquatic, have been identified, including the reed belt that serves as spawning ground for many fish species and an important wintering site for tens of thousands of birds of more than 20 bird species (migratory) that populate the area. The highest number of individual birds was observed in 1999, with 64,948 birds of 23 species on Lake Ohrid. The avifauna of the lake includes Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus (VU), Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus, Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, Small Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus, Mute Swan Cygnus olor, Blacknecked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis, Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis, Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina, Common Pochard Aythya ferina, White-eyed Duck Aythya ferruginea, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula and Corncrake Crex crex. The shoreline between Pogradec and the border of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is the richest habitat for shorebirds on the Albanian side of Lake Ohrid.
Lake Ohrid is recognized at the international level as an important site for biodiversity conservation. Lake Ohrid has been given the status of an Important Bird Area (IBA) both in Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and is part of the European Green Belt initiative, one of the most comprehensive transboundary conservation initiatives in Europe.
It is therefore no surprise that the lake itself and its surrounding area are populated with protected areas. In Albania those are Pogradec Protected Landscape and Prespa National Park, while in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia two other protected areas are designated – Lake Ohrid Protected Landscape (covering the lake surface) and the Galicica National Park, in part overlapping with the existing World Heritage property “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region”. Pogradec Protected Landscape (IUCN Category V) was designated in 1999 by the Decision of the Council of Ministers across 27.323 ha spanning Mali i Thate mountain and Lake Ohrid in Albania. The protected area is managed by the Directorate of Forest Service Pogradec. The Prespa National Park (13,500 ha) was established with the 12 same decision of the Council of Ministers in 1999.
The entire territory of Lake Prespa in Albania is surrounded with the Prespa National Park, which extends from the mountain massif of Mali i Thate to the south and east toward Mikri Prespa Lake bordering with Greece. The Prespa National Park is under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Forest Service Korça. Both protected areas are important transboundary sites not only for their ecological features but also for the rich cultural heritage and local tradition. Incorporated in the national and regional forestry service structures, both protected areas, even though with dedicated individuals, are represented by limited number of staff in need of knowledge and skills for proper protected area management. In that respect, a five-year project “Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa – Support to the Albanian Prespa National Park” has been launched with the aim of improving management of the Prespa National Park and the establishment of a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve around Prespa Lakes. A similar support to Pogradec Protected Landscape would be beneficial both for the Protected Area authority and local communities