Located in Southeastern Europe, Montenegro is a country that is a part of the Balkans and gets its name from its famous black mountains.
The country has a predominantly hilly terrain, with mountains along its shared borders with Albania, Serbia, and Kosovo.
Most of its peaks are in the north, while the south has more coastal plains.
The country also has several rivers, the most popular being the Zeta River.
Despite being a relatively small country, Montenegro’s high mountains and thick forests are home to several species.
The nation also has several national parks dedicated to conserving certain species and giving tourists a better view of some animals that roam the land.
However, despite conservation efforts, some Montenegrin species face various endangerment threats.
Keep reading to discover some of these animals and the threats they face.
According to the IUCN Red List, only a few species classify as endangered or critically endangered in Montenegro. Here are some of such species:
2. Balkan Lynx
A subspecies of the Eurasian lynx, the Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx balcanicus) inhabits several countries throughout the Balkans, including Montenegro.
Despite its presence in the country, this subspecies faces critical endangerment.
Although the exact number of these animals left in the wild is unknown, the Balkan lynx is one of the rarest animals in the country, and efforts are underway to protect and conserve the species.
The Balkan lynx largely resembles the Eurasian lynx.
It is a large cat weighing between 39 and 66 pounds and measuring 2.9 to 4.2 feet.
The easiest way to identify Balkan lynx is by their characteristic reddish-brown fur with black dots.
They are skilled hunters, able to take down prey more enormous than themselves because of their huge paws, strong legs, and razor-sharp claws.
Unfortunately, this animal is under threat due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and hunting.
The lynx’s native habitat has been hampered by building roads and other infrastructure, while poaching and hunting have reduced the species’ numbers.
Also, farmers who see the Balkan lynx as a threat to their cattle frequently kill the cat.
Montenegro has implemented measures to monitor the Balkan lynx population in addition to protected areas.
These initiatives monitor the lynx’s habits and movements with radio collars and other monitoring tools.
Conservationists can create plans to safeguard and conserve the lynx by knowing its habits.
1. European Eel
The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is an eel species found in freshwater rivers, lakes, and estuaries across Europe.
Despite being currently endangered, this species has inhabited Montenegro’s waters for centuries.
According to expert sources, the species’ population has dropped by at least 90% since the 1970s.
These eels are usually between 2.1-2.7 feet, but there are records of individuals reaching about four feet.
Like other species, the lifecycle of the European eel is one of its most impressive features.
Over time, they swim through rivers and streams to mature in freshwater habitats like Lake Skadar in Montenegro.
The population reduction of this species is attributed to overfishing, habitat loss, and pollution.
Climate change also affects the species since it can modify how the eel migrates due to ocean currents and temperature variations.
In Montenegro, the European eel is an influential cultural and economic resource, and efforts are underway to protect and conserve the country’s European eel population.
The nation has policies to control fishing methods and restrict eel catches.
Furthermore, conservation initiatives are in place to preserve and restore the freshwater environments where the eel spends most of its life cycle.