Nature protection in Croatia
As a Mediterranean country in the south-eastern part of Europe, Croatia is an area with a characteristic flora and fauna. Croatia's ornithofauna shows that it is a breeding area for some of the globally endangered bird species, as well as a site for the spring/autumn passage and the wintering of European migratory birds, many of which are declining, or endangered. This is a significant reason why Croatia is an emerging birding destination, aware of the importance of protection and conservation of these ornithologically significant areas, as a part of overall efforts and actions for nature protection in Croatia.
There are four governmental organizations in Croatia involved in scientific research on birds, of which the Institute for Ornithology of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts has the longest tradition. There are also many nongovernmental organizations dedicated to the protection of environment, but only the Croatian Society for Bird and Nature Protection is dedicated prevailingly for birds' protection; the chief source being the Ministry of Sciences and Technology of the Republic of Croatia.
Currently, protected areas (prevailingly National and Nature parks) in Croatia cover almost 9% of the total Croatian territory. In all four bio-geographic regions of Croatia – Alpine, Continental, Mediterranean and Pannonian - larger protected areas have been created. Croatian strict reserves are situated in the mountains of the Alpine biogeographic region. National parks are all placed in the karst area, which is partially in the Alpine and partially in the Mediterranean biogeographic region. Nature parks are equally distributed all over the Croatian territory.
Croatia's largest protected area is the Velebit Nature Park. Within this nature park, two national parks are situated, North Velebit and Paklenica. The territory of the Velebit Nature Park covers nearly 27% of the entire protected territory in Croatia. The oldest continuously protected area in Croatia is the Arboretum Opeka in Varazdinska county, a Horticultural monument since 1947. Certain areas in Croatia, due to their exceptional biological diversity and special landscape features, enjoy international legal protection. The Plitvice Lakes National Park is listed on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance includes Kopacki rit and Lonjsko polje nature parks, the Crna mlaka fishponds special ornithological reserve and lower course of the Neretva river. The Velebit mountain is a part of the UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves under the "Man and the Biosphere Programme". Papuk Nature Park has become a member of the UNESCO's Global Network of National Geoparks in 2007 as the European geopark.
All our guides are members of local and national conservation groups and are committed to conservation in Croatia and globally. We strongly support responsible and low-impact travel.
Birdlife International | Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts - The Department of Natural Sciences | State Institute for Nature Protection | Croatian Society for Bird and Nature Protection | Ramsar Convention | Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas
IBA-s in CroatiaBirdLife International - detailed information on 23 IBA's in Croatia
"An intact nature is a pre-condition for the return to oneself and to thinking; it makes it possible for us to be human in a time when actual values are increasingly lost." - H.U. Stauffer
"All true wealth is biological" - L.M.Bujold