Serbia is a landlocked country in Southeast Europe, at the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain and the Balkans. It shares land borders with Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest, and claiming a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia has a population of roughly 7 million inhabitants.
Serbia is a country of rich ecosystem and species diversity—covering only 1.9% of the whole European territory, Serbia is home to 39% of European vascular flora, 51% of European fish fauna, 40% of European reptiles and amphibian fauna, 74% of European bird fauna, and 67% European mammal fauna. Its abundance of mountains and rivers make it an ideal environment for a variety of animals, many of which are protected including wolves, lynx, bears, foxes, and stags. There are 17 snake species living all over the country, 8 of them are venomous.
Mountain of Tara in western Serbia is one of the last regions in Europe where bears can still live in absolute freedom. Serbia is home to about 380 species of birds. In Carska Bara, there are over 300 bird species on just a few square kilometres. Uvac Gorge is considered one of the last habitats of the Griffon vulture in Europe. In area around the city of Kikinda, in the northernmost part of the country, some 145 endangered long-eared owls are noted, making it the world's biggest settlement of these species. The country is considerably rich with threatened species of bats and butterflies as well.
There are 380 protected areas of Serbia, encompassing 4,947 square kilometres or 6.4% of the country. The 'Spatial plan of the Republic of Serbia' states that the total protected area should be increased to 12% by 2021. Those protected areas include 5 national parks, 15 nature parks, 15 'landscapes of outstanding features', 61 nature reserves, and 281 natural monuments.
With 29.1% of its territory covered by forest, Serbia is considered to be a middle-forested country, compared on a global scale to world forest coverage at 30%, and European average of 35%. The total forest area in Serbia is 2,252,000 ha or 0.3 ha per inhabitant. It had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 5.29/10, ranking it 105th globally out of 172 countries. The most common trees are oak, beech, pines, and firs.
Air pollution is a significant problem in Bor area, due to work of large copper mining and smelting complex, and Pančevo where oil and petrochemical industry is based. Some cities suffer from water supply problems, due to mismanagement and low investments in the past, as well as water pollution,
Poor waste management has been identified as one of the most important environmental problems in Serbia and the recycling is a fledgling activity, with only 15% of its waste being turned back for reuse.