Nikaj-Mertur RNP is a noteworthy area as far as its ecological systems are concerned. The vertical zone that begins at the height of Lake Koman (180m) and goes up to the park’s highest peak (Maja e Grykave të Hapta, 2625m), makes it possible to have great biodiversity in the park. Species of national and international importance are present in the aquatic flora and fauna, as well as in the wetlands and terrestrial habitats of the park. The wide range of vegetation, altitude and geographic position make the park very rich the natural values it offers.
The RNP is also home to a limited population of SPECs (Species of European Concern). Large carnivores such as the brown bear (ursus arctos), the Balkan lynx (lynx lynx) and the wolf (canis lupus), along with large herbivores like the chamois (rupicapra rupicapra) all call the park their home. Keeping the conservation of this rich biodiversity in mind, hunting is allowed in some areas of the park with the appropriate permits.
In the years since the park formation, the population of native animals has increased considerably. Common species include: wild boars (Sus scrofa), chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), wolves (Canis lupus), foxes (Vulpes vulpes), lynx (Lynx lynx), otters (Lutrinae), European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wildcats (Felis silvestris), and rabbits (Lepis europaeus). If looking carefully, travelers might also meet the infamous black salamander (Salamandra atra) native to the Dinaric Alps, usually found at altitudes above 700m.
There have also been sightings of the western capercaillie (tetrao urogallus), the griffon vulture (gyps fulvus), the peregrine falcon (falco peregrinus), and the common kestrel (falco tinnunculus) in the park area.
Nearly 880 species of medicinal plants are currently registered in the Regional Nature Park, including plants commonly found in pharmaceutical products, such as autumn crocus (colchichium autumnale), the great yellow gentian (gentiana lutea), the Albanian lily (lilium albanicum), mistletoe (viscum album), and wulfenia (wulfenia).
Field studies conducted in the area have revealed that the following habitat types can be found in Nikaj-Mertur RNP:
- • Oriental hornbeam forests
- • Thermophilous beech forests
- • Montane and subalpine beech forests
- • Oak-hornbeam forests
- • Habitats of local streams and rivers
- • Aquatic habitats of Lake Koman
- • Montane grasslands
- • Dinaric Mountains mixed forests (Including species like black pine, beech, and oak)
- • Thermophilous grasslands
- • Oro-Mediterranean rocky habitats
The table below presents the levels of vegetation in the area based on elevation:
The Main Levels of Vegetation of Nikaj-Mertur RNP:
- - 180 – 900m above sea level - Mixed oak forest (completely transformed into coppice forest for pruning and firewood gathering practices).
- - 900 – 1800m above sea level - Beech forests.
- - 1800 – 2600m above sea level - Alpine and oro-Mediterranean rocky habitats.