Albania is not distinguished for great variety of flora. Low hills surrounding the coastal plain are covered with underbrush of xerophytic shrubs – maquis. There are greenwoods on the middle level of the mountains, but intensive soil erosion causes its quick and systematic reduction. One more problem is forest clearance carried on till recently on an industrial scale. Coniferous trees grow mainly on outcrops of serpentines and beech forests grow on limestone outcrops. Mountain peaks and the shallowest soils are covered by thinned coat of sod-grasses. In general the main part of the country represents a wooded and mountainous territory with evergreen shrubs, oaks, chestnuts, beeches, pines and fir-trees. There are Alpine meadows at altitudes higher than 2,000 metres above sea level.
The animal world of Albania is also not so rich. There are around 760 vertebrate species on the territory of the country. Among these there are over tree hundred and fifty bird species, three hundred and thirty freshwater and marine fish and eighty mammal species.
There are some 91 globally threatened species found within the country, among which the Pygmy cormorant, the Dalmatian pelican, and the European sea sturgeon.
There are golden eagles – the national symbol of Albania, vultures, capercaillies and numerous waterfowl in the country. Among mammals there are brown bear, gray wolf, chamois and wild boar. The north and eastern mountains of the country are home to the last remaining Balkan and Eurasian Lynxes. Among reptiles there are asps, grass-snakes, lizards as well as geckos and tortoises in Albania.