Sunday, 25 July 2021

Lonjsko Polje Park Records Three-Digit Rise in Visitor Stats

ZAGREB, 25 July, 2021 - The Lonjsko Polje Nature Park has seen a three-digit rise in visitors' statistics so far this year compared to 2020, and the planned opening of a centre for the black stork (ciconia nigra) in September will make the park even more attractive for guests, the park's representatives have told Hina.

In the first half of 2021, the number of visitors in this nature park, 90 kilometres southeast of Zagreb, skyrocketed by 150% compared to H1 2020, however the figures are still below the pre-pandemic period.

Broken down by citizenship, apart from local guests from all parts of Croatia, there were also more and more French, German, Polish and British travellers visiting this part of Croatia.

Of the 250 bird species living in the park, 170 also nest there. The village of Čigoč is known as the stork village.

A new centre dedicated to the black stork in the village of Osekovo will be opened within the park in September, and this project, worth 20 million kuna, has been co-funded by the European Union in the amount of HRK 12.8 million.

Some of the attractions in the 511-square-kilometre-large park are the village of Krapje, bird-watching in the ornithological reserve Krapje Đol, and traditional cattle grazing in Repušnicko Polje field.

The park, which is the largest protected wetland in Croatia is in the basin of the Sava and Lonja rivers.

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Sunday, 2 May 2021

"Invasive Species in Croatia" Mobile Application Launched

ZAGREB, 2 May 2021 - One of the biggest ecological challenges today are invasive alien species which will be possible to track by a mobile application called "Invasive species in Croatia", which was launched earlier this week in Krapje, a community in Sisak-Moslavina County.

The application, developed by the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry, was presented to rangers and other staff working in protected areas located by the River Sava.

"The information system for invasive alien species provides existing information on alien species in Croatia in a single, publicly available place. It will be updated, which is why the application has been developed, to enable citizens to report their observations," said Ana Ješovnik of the Office for Alien Species of the Institute for Environment and Nature Protection at the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry. 

"This system will help monitor not only the number and appearance of invasive alien species but also trends in their expansion, and it will also improve management planning to prevent their harmful effect on biodiversity," she said.

Sandra Slivar of the Office for Alien Species underlined the importance of rangers who are among the first to spot the appearance and spreading of an invasive alien species. Their input, she said, helps plan the protection of protected species and habitats.

The European Union has compiled a list of invasive species, and on that list of 66 animal and plant species, 24 have been reported in Croatia.

Burdock, desert false indigo among invasive species in Lonjsko Polje

Among the dozen invasive species that have been identified in the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park, the most important ones are burdock, goldenrods, wild cucumber, and desert false indigo, which in the past 30 years or so has spread over most of the marshes in the park, or around 5,000 hectares of land, and the park management has so far revitalized around 600 hectares of land through donations.

"The Lonjsko Polje Nature Park has been battling invasive alien species for years. Participation in the Sava TIES project in the past three years has helped do a lot in the field of research, improvement of the legislative framework as well as in raising the level of interdepartmental and cross-border cooperation," the park's director, Marija Kušmiš, said.

Invasive alien species have a negative effect on biodiversity and eco-systems and some of them jeopardize the economy as well as human health, she said.

The spreading of invasive alien species reduces the area of marsh habitats of many strictly protected animal and plant species, it was said.

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