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Durmitor National Park Montenegro

Durmitor National Park comprises Mount Durmitor plateau and the valley formed by the canyon of the River Tara, incorporating three major geomorphologic features: canyons, mountains and plateaux. Because of its geographical location and range in altitude, the park is under the influence of both Mediterranean and alpine microclimates, which has resulted in an exceptional range of species.

Durmitor National Park
Continent: Europe
Country: Montenegro
Category: Natural
Criterion: (VII)(VIII) (X)
Date of Inscription: 1980

Tara Canyons and Limestone Formations

Geologically, Durmitor and Tara canyons are made up of rocky massifs of the Mesozoic era (from the Lower Triassic to the Upper Cretaceous), Tertiary and Quaternary periods. The dominant features are the limestone formations of the Middle and Upper Triassic, the Upper Jurassic and the Upper Cretaceous, especially the so-called Durmitorean flysch. The River Tara, one of the last wild rivers in Europe, has pure, clear waters, a gorge 1,300 m deep and notable floristic and faunistic diversity.

The 16 glacial lakes of the Durmitor and the canyons of the Tara, Susica and Draga rivers were formed during the Quaternary period, following the sudden thaw of the snow and the formation of glaciers on the Durmitor and neighbouring mountains. The waters of the largest lake, Black Lake, feed two separate river basins: the River Tara, and underground through the Durmitor Massif, the River Komarnica or Piva. There are numerous examples of weathering processes, rock shapes and land features characteristic of karstic erosion, fluvial erosion and glacial erosion.

Durmitor National Park Montenegro
Durmitor National Park Montenegro

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Vegetation zones include deciduous forest, coniferous forest and subalpine zones. The dominant species include Scots pine, Norway pine, silver fir, beech, occasional birch, mugo pine and juniper. The park supports a rich karstic flora with many rare and endemic species. There are 37 taxa endemic to the area and six specific to Durmitor. The park contains one of the last virgin black pine forests in Europe, on soils that would usually develop beech woodland.

The Tara and its tributaries, as well as the lakes, contain a large number of salmonidae. Forest fauna includes brown bear, wolf, wild boar, wild cat, chamois, and various species of eagle, capercaillie, black grouse and rock partridge.

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