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The Mediterranean as it once was

Fauna

Fauna

Due to its specific geographical position, located on the cusp of a number of bio geographical regions, Croatia is an area with an above average number of land, sea and underwater species. With 8 National Parks and 11 Nature Parks, some of which are Kopački Rit near Osijek, Lonjsko polje in Posavina, Vransko jezero near Pakoštane and other carefully looked after and supervised zoological and botanical reserves, Croatia is home to protected species such as the brown bear in Kuterevo, dolphins and Mediterranean monk seal in the Kvarner waters, the griffon vulture on the craggy rocks of Cres or even the white stork in Čigoč and the herd of wild horses in Posavina. It is in these areas that these species are able to roam around in the last free areas.

    
 
National parks
Risnjak
Risnjak
This mountain massif was named after the lynx, in Croatian ris, its most popular inhabitant. It covers the area of 64 km2 and being located where the Alps meet the Dinaric Range and where the Mediterranean gradually gives way to the Pannonia Plain...
Plitvička jezera
Plitvička jezera
This is Croatia’s best known national park and the only one of eight that is listed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites. The main attractions of this park, unique in the world, are the 16 small lakes joined by waterfalls created by the sedimentation of travertine, a special type of limestone.
 
Paklenica
Paklenica
The greatest natural jewel of the Zadar area is Paklenica National Park, which covers the most attractive parts of the southern Velebit, concentrated in a mere 96 km2. Its most striking features are two forbidding gorges - Velika and Mala Paklenica.
Northern Velebit
Northern Velebit
The unique landscapes and the greatest wealth of flora and fauna are to be found in the area of Northern Velebit National Park. Located in the peak area of the northernmost part of the mountain and extending over 109 km2, the national park is rich in exceptional features...
 
Mljet
Mljet
Situated on the island of the same name, Mljet National Park is the most important protected area of the Dalmatian south. The park covers the western part of the island, which many regard as the most alluring in the Adriatic, full of lush and varied Mediterranean vegetation.
Krka
Krka
The largest part of this amazing river’s course is the national park, which in addition to its natural phenomena abounds with cultural and historical monuments. The most outstanding of these is the Franciscan monastery on the tiny island of Visovac, set in the middle of the lake widening in the river like a precious stone.
 
Kornati
Kornati
The Kornati archipelago consists of 140 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs comprising an area of only 70 km2. They are famous for the peculiar shapes of reefs and crags but particularly for their high cliffs. There are those who claim that the number of the smaller islands is even greater...
Brijuni
Brijuni
Brijuni, a group of islands comprising of two large and twelve smaller isles, are strung along Istria’s south western coast not far from Pula. Their surface area is barely seven km2, but together with the surrounding sea the total area of the park is 34 km2.
 
Nature parks
Žumberak
Žumberak
West of Zagreb is Žumberak Nature Park and Samobor Highlands. Their distinctive nature stems from the number of karstic phenomena atypical of the areas adjoining the Pannonia Plain: deep canyons, small, sparkling rivers bursting with numerous waterfalls and broad, flowering meadows.
Vransko lake
Vransko lake
For those preferring physically less demanding way of enjoying the world of nature, the Vrana Lake Nature Park is perfect. It consists of the largest lake in Croatia and its surrounding area. Located in the vicinity of the sea, the lake is home to exceptional number of bird species, to wild ducks and egrets in particular.
 
Velebit
Velebit
Velebit is the largest Croatian mountain and as such rich in natural phenomena. Protected as a nature park and extending over 2,000 km2 in area, it is by far the largest protected area in the country. Within the park there is a whole range of smaller protected areas, including two national parks...
Učka
Učka
Amongst the main attractions of Učka are the unique limestone formations in the area of Vrana and at the very top of Učka, where an old tower is erected. Mountaineers like to be photographed next to this tower. From the summit of the mountain there are unforgettable views of the nearby islands and Opatija Riviera.
 
Telašćica
Telašćica
This deep bay is one of the most popular havens for yachtsmen in the Adriatic, providing a safe berth during the strongest storms. The rocky shores of the bay are low on the landward side while facing out to sea are imposing cliffs...
Papuk
Papuk
The features that visitors find most captivating are endless forests of Papuk, extending as far as the eye can see. These woods are mainly mountain beech, but there are also oak, fir and other types of trees. By far the most beautiful part of Papuk is Jankovan park-wood, one of Slavonia’s favourite excursion sites.
 
Medvednica
Medvednica
Medvednica Mountain is covered with dense beech, oak, chestnut and fir forest and it certainly is favourite excursion destination for the Zagreb citizens and their guests. The mountain is criss-crossed by numerous paths and trails, less demanding ones that are fitted with benches and information boards...
Lonjsko polje
Lonjsko polje
The largest nature park in Central Croatia is Lonjsko polje, located in the valley of the river Sava, east of Zagreb. Covering an area of 506 km2, it is one of the largest European preserved wetlands, protected by the Ramsar Convention as a wetland area of the world importance.
 
Lastovsko otočje
Lastovsko otočje
This remote group of islands is richly indented, full of greenery and boasts a unique folklore tradition. One of the reasons for such a high degree of preservation and the special atmosphere of peace and tranquillity is their remoteness: it takes more than a four hour journey from the mainland to reach them.
Kopački rit
Kopački rit
The greenest waters and forests in the whole of Slavonia are to be found in Kopački rit Nature Park. The park covers the wetland area around the confluence of Drava and Danube rivers, near Osijek, covering a total of 238 hectares, and which, due to its inaccessibility, has remained in the intact state since the olden times.
 
Biokovo
Biokovo
This imposing mountain is by far the greatest sight of the Central Dalmatian coastline, and its only nature park. There are few places in the Mediterranean where peaks of over 1,500 metres high come so close to the sea and where mountains rise so steeply as they do here.
 
 

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