NATURA 2000 in Croatia



Croatian Knot in the European Net

 Croatia will have to propose sites for the NATURA 2000 Network for over 250 species and 70 habitat types that occur in Croatia. SINP has identified around 1000 possible sites that have now been put out to public consultation

Owing to wonderfully rich and varied wildlife, with especially high number of plant species, Croatia is amongst the top three countries in Europe for plant diversity.Many of the species, like beautiful Biokovo bellflower, exist here and nowhere else in the world. Rare mammals, like lynx, bear or wolf; reptiles and amphibians; over 65% of all known fish species in the Mediterranean and over 230 species of birds, almost half of all birds in Europe, inhabit in Croatia. Therefore croatian knot is extremly important and very welcomed in the European NATURA 2000 net.

At the time of its accession to the EU, Croatia will need to implement the Birds and Habitats Directives on its territory. Already, many of the provisions of these two EU Directives have been transposed into the Nature Protection Act (OG 70/05). Like other EU countries, Croatia will also have to propose sites for the NATURA 2000 Network for over 250 species and 70 habitat types that occur in Croatia and that are considered to be of EU importance, such as the Eurasian lynx, , scarce fritillary butterfly or Adriatic lizard orchid.

In anticipation of this, the State Institute for Nature Protection (SINP) has coordinated a detailed inventory of the distribution of these species and habitats in Croatia. From this extensive baseline information, SINP has identified around 1000 sites that should be proposed for the EU NATURA 2000 Network. The selection is based on standard scientific criteria that apply in the same way to all EU countries.

These possible sites have now been put out to public consultation. This consultation process has two roles: on the one hand to inform all those potentially concerned or interested in NATURA 2000 what it is and how it will work in practice. On the other hand, to give people an opportunity to comment on the selection of sites – for instance, if they have extra information about the location of a particular species or habitat in a specific site.
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Once the public consultation exercise is finished, a final revised list of possible NATURA 2000 sites will be sent for final government approval before being submitted to the European Commission in Brussels.