Canyon of the river Cijevna

View of the Cijevna Canyon. © Zeljko Scepanovic
Goats living at the Canyon of Cijevna River. © Jadranka Mamic
Closer look at the Cijevna River. © Center for Protection and Research of birds of Montenegro

Names in the national language

Cem (Albania)

Cijevna (Montenegro)


Location and short description

The river Cijevna springs in the Albanian part of the Prokletije Mountain and flows after 58.8 km in the Morača River in Montenegro, which flows into the Lake Skutari. During its course, it flows through a narrow canyon, which has a high biodiversity of plants. In total, 813 species of plants have been registered so far. About 300 plants are honey-rich plants and more than 60 are endemic species belonging to southeast Dinarides and the Balkan Peninsula.


Special features

The complex geomorphology with rock cuttings in some places over 1,000 m altitude, narrow canyons in the upper reaches and the valley at the exit of the canyon as well as the clean waters of the river, are the main features. The canyon of the river Cijevna is an important habitat of the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus). The canyon cliffs are one of the most important habitats for raptors, and the breeding area for several species of swallows. During the Cold War, Cijevna River was part of the Iron Curtain and as a border area heavily guarded. Therefore, some former military buildings remained in the area.


Main biotop types

Mediterranean maquis, karst, canyon cliffs and coniferous forests



  • Birds: Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), European nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), Alpine chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus), Rock nuthatch (Sitta neumayer), Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria), Dipper (Cinclus aquaticus), European turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur)
  • Reptiles: Italian crested newt (Triturus carnifex) , Herman’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni)
  • Plants: Balkanian butterwort (Pinguicula balcanica), Serbian phoenix flower (Ramonda serbica), Grassy bells (Edraianthus tenuifolius)


Status of protection

Monument of nature (Montenegro)

Canyon of the river Cijevna

Municipality Malësia e Madhe (Albania)
Email: bashkiamalesiemadhe(at)

Tuzi Municipality (Montenegro)
Email: tuzi(at)

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