Thursday, 3 March 2022

Croatia Marks World Wildlife Day

ZAGREB, 3 March 2022 - Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration is the theme of this year's World Wildlife Day, marked on 3 March to raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.

World Wildlife Day 2022 will draw attention to the need to reverse the fate of the most critically endangered species, to support the restoration of their habitats and ecosystems, and to promote their sustainable use, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said in a press release on Thursday.

Citing data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, it said that over a million different species of wild fauna and flora are facing extinction.

The last EU State of Nature report also expressed concern about the rapid rate of reduction of biodiversity in the European Union. Nature in the EU, including Croatia, is mostly threatened by human activity, in particular by alterations of natural ecosystems, unsustainable use of natural resources, and pollution, which has resulted in continued destruction and loss of species, habitats, and ecosystems. In addition to human influence, nature is also facing challenges related to climate change.

Like other EU countries, Croatia also has recognized the need to take appropriate action to conserve wildlife species and habitats.

"We cannot do without nature, and the loss of biodiversity, species, habitats, and ecosystems indeed poses an existential threat to life on Earth," the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said.

World Wildlife Day will be marked at Zagreb Zoo on Saturday when educators will inform visitors about endangered animal species and their habitats.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 5 November 2021

Zagreb to Get First Facility for Wildlife Rehabilitation

ZAGREB, 5 Nov 2021- Zagreb will get its first facility for the accommodation and care of wild animal species within the Shelter for Abandoned Animals "Dumovec", and its realisation was made possible under the EU project "Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre -- Modernisation of the Zagreb Zoo Phase III".

The total value of the project amounts to about HRK 22.7 million (€3 million), and of that HRK 6 million (€800,000) is co-financed by the EU. The project is implemented from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2023.

Taking care of injured, exhausted or confiscated animals of protected species will finally be done at a special facility, a recovery centre that will consists of specialised areas of more than 1,300 square metres.

The ground for will be for taking care of abandoned dogs, and the first floor will be for injured and exhausted wild animals from Zagreb, strictly protected species from the entire Croatia and those seized in cross-border traffic.

"The facility will house a modern quarantine and veterinary clinic, a vehicle adapted for the transport of animals will be purchased, as well as equipment for animal control service and equipment for marking animals that are released in the wild," said project manager Davorka Maljković.

Ida Partl from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said that the Ministry coordinated the operation of 11 recovery centres in Croatia and that six more project would be financed from the cohesion funds.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Croatia Marking World Wildlife Day

ZAGREB, 3 March 2021 - World Wildlife Day, observed on 3 March, is this year dedicated to forest ecosystems and the related species.  

Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Tomislav Ćorić has said that the survival and wellbeing of people depend on forests and that everyone is responsible for their preservation.

"In Croatia forests cover around 45% of the land territory, and they are natural to a large extent. The species in as many as 95% of forests in the country are natural and autochthonous, which is rare not only in Europe but globally as well," the minister said, pointing to the great importance of forests and warning against their unsustainable use.

He recalled that in order to stop global deforestation, the European Commission in 2019 published the communication "Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World's Forests", and that as part of its strategy for the preservation of biodiversity in the period until 2030, the EC had prepared an ambitious plan to restore nature, including a plan to put 10% of land areas under strict protection, as part of which all the remaining primeval forests in Europe will be mapped and protected.

In 2021, a special EU strategy for forests will be put forward, in line with the EU's biodiversity and climate neutrality ambitions, and it will include an action plan for the planting of at least three billion new trees in the EU in the period until 2030, in line with ecological criteria.

Zagreb ZOO: Red list contains more than 15,200 animal species

Zagreb ZOO traditionally marks World Wildlife Day to raise public awareness of the importance of preserving plant and animal species.

It warns that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species currently contains more than 15,200 animal species, including 38 species that have become extinct in nature and that survive exclusively thanks to human care.

Two of those species can be seen at Zagreb ZOO - the scimitar oryx and the Socorro dove, the zoo has said.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Potentially Harmful Compass Jellyfish Appear Near Betina

As the tourist season approaches in Dalmatia, the compass jellyfish makes an appearance.

As Morski writes on the 14th of May, 2019, potentially harmful compass jellyfish (Chrysaora hysoscella) have made an appearance in the sea near Betina, experts warn that if one sees this jellyfish they should give it a very wide berth and make no attempt whatsoever to go near it or touch it as a sting from this animal is very painful.

Chrysaora hysoscella, known as the compass jellyfish, is a species that typically lives in the coastal waters of the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea, often appearing along the coast of the United Kingdom, especially in the North sea, Ireland, and as far south as Turkey. It is characterised by a yellow-brown ''cap'' that resembles a compass and it can grow to up to thirty centimetres in diameter, with tentacles reaching up to one metre long. The compass jellyfish has 24 tentacles that are divided into three groups of eight, as was described by the Centre for Invasive Species, which reported that the same had jellyfish appeared near Poreč in Istria last summer.

Although during spring compass jellyfish may occur in slightly larger numbers, a small number of individuals reach sexual maturity and continue to survive until the summer. This type of compass jellyfish belongs to a group of jellyfish which possess their cnidocite on their tentacles and thus, if one comes into contact with it, it can cause painful burns and marks on the skin. 

Compass jellyfish tend to appear in cycles but not each and every year, and their lifespan is one year. They feed on zooplankton, and the natural enemies are sea turtles and the Ocean sunfish (Mola Mola) - a large fish that feeds on them.

The aforementioned centre advises that if you do come across and come into accidental contact with a compass jellyfish while swimming, then you need to cool the burned area with aloe vera or a similar gel which soothes burns.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Balkan Pond Turtle Discovered Along Dubrovnik's River Ombla

As Morski writes on the 2nd of May, 2019, after a Balkan pond turtle (Mauremys rivulata) was found along Dubrovnik's Ombla river last year, the news was picked up by the expert public.

Zvonimir Pandža from Rijeka Dubrovačka (Dubrovnik River) found the turtle, and owing to his discovery, he confirmed concretely that the species is in actual fact not extinct in the Ombla river, which was the overall consensus until now. According to locals who live along the Ombla, Balkan pond turtles were a relatively common sight up until the Homeland War broke out. After the war ended, different interventions had been taking place in its natural habitat, which is why the turtles had unfortunately been brought to the brink of extinction over just a few years.

The next important step was to conduct a survey to determine whether or not there were still any individual Balkan pond turtles living in and along Dubrovnik's Ombla river. This research and evaluation was financed by Dubrovnik-Neretva County and was carried out by the Hyla Association in coordination with the Public Institution for Management of Protected Areas of Nature of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The first survey results, carried out in April 2019, are above all expectations, as they proved that two more river turtle species have been found living along Dubrovnik's Ombla river. There is now a realistic possibility that there is still a small population of Balkan pond turtles living permanently at that location.

The study also includes other animal groups that inhabit this more quiet and rural area of Dubrovnik, with the aim of collecting data on the remaining natural values ​​of this protected area. We are witnessing the increasing urbanisation of the surrounding area of ​​Dubrovnik, and with the proper care and adequate spacial planning, there is still a good possibility of preserving its natural world and its native species, including the river and pond turtles.

The deaths of established populations of creatures such as Balkan pond turtle along the Ombla river is a perfect example of how nature and its species can disappear almost entirely in just a few years if proper spacial planning is not taken into account. The decision now lies solely with us - Do we want to preserve the natural world and its animals of the areas in which we live?

Dubrovnik-Neretva County is the only area in the whole of the Republic of Croatia where both types of freshwater turtles (Balkan pond turtles and European river turtles) can be found. Both species are strictly protected, and the river turtle holds the unfortunate status of an endangered species.

The largest population of such river turtles lives in Konavle, the southernmost municipality of Croatia which borders Montenegro, and a population of them appears stable in the village of Majkovi. In Stonsko Polje, Dubrovnik's Ombla River and the delta of the Neretva River, such turtles unfortunately find themselves on the verge of extinction, and it is still not clear whether or not there is a population near Lumbarda at all.

The main threats to the survival of river and pond turtles are the expansion of construction zones into their habitat and the deliberate release of foreign, invasive types of turtles that are frequently kept as pets.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow or check out Dubrovnik in a Page.

Monday, 29 April 2019

A Bear Seen on Pelješac for the First Time!

People of Pelješac are hospitable folk, used to wanting to give their best to their guests. But, there are some guests they are not really used to, and a bear on Pelješac is one of those!

The "visited" beehives (actually ruined) were the first sign that an unexpected beast has made his or her way to Pelješac. Near Putniković, Toni Rusković told HRT reporters that he has seven beehives on Wednesday, and on Saturday all of them have been broken into and ruined. Ivo Đuračić from the Hunting Association of Kuna says that the bear has probably spent the whole sweet night by the hives, getting almost all of the honey out of them.

Wild boars and European mouflons are often seen on Pelješac, and the population of jackals is very stable and they can often be seen and heard, but a bear is something that no-one remembers seeing on Pelješac before. Although, hunters add that it could spend a lot of time in a specific location without being noticed, as it avoids humans and their dwellings, and there's plenty of food around for him/her. If only it weren't for that sweet seductive honey, which gave him away.

A couple of days after the incident in Putniković, (s)he was recorded by a hunter's camera just a couple of kilometres away. Some people claim that it's a mama bear with her cubs, although, having done my research, I'm not quite sure how that story got started. And a few more days after that, another beehive incident occurred in Brijesta - which is not surprising, because bears do have a large area where they like to roam around.

The hunters have written to the people in charge of the Agriculture Ministry, waiting for their instructions on what to do with the bear. Hopefully, it will be peacefully moved to a more bear-acquainted part of Croatia, although one would really love the bear to have the chance to taste some of those amazing Pelješac grapes and figs, which will be perfect for consumption sometime in late August. It's not certain how the bear got to Pelješac, although it's possible it just swam over. After all, the bridge isn't finished yet, and will probably never be really bear-friendly! 

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Zagreb Veterinary Students to Learn About Marine Life on Murter

As Morski writes on the 28th of March, 2019, this weekend, the island of Murter will host the first of two sets of field work of Zagreb veterinary students within the "Blue Project - Contribution to the development of the DKU Program at VFZS" project, carried out by the Argonaut association in partnership with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Zagreb, as well as the Pula Marine Education Centre.

The implementation of the project started back in April 2018, and the purpose of the project is to give the Zagreb veterinary students a chance to engage in socially beneficial marine environment conservation projects. Through the projects within the classes, and in cooperation with various civil society organisations, students will learn to properly identify the needs of the community and through the courses they undertake, develop potential solutions - projects that will see them engaged in the local community, according to a report from SibenikIN.

Within this concrete project, the topics that are likely among the most interesting to the Zagreb veterinary students will be the methods and ways of monitoring populations and providing treatment to the Adriatic's protected marine animals, such as sea turtles and dolphins.

In addition to Murter, students will also visit Pula and the Marine Education Center at the Pula Aquarium in mid-April this year.

Students will develop their projects through selected mentoring programs which include but aren't limited to visiting habitats during the winter months and learning how to properly aid a sea turtle who has become too cold, learning about the friendly behaviour of sea turtles and dolphins, what to do when coming across a sick or injured dolphin or sea turtle, and what the procedure is should a dead dolphin or sea turtle be discovered.

At the workshop in Murter, the thematic workshop will focus on dolphins and students will be educated on the development of monitoring protocols, recording the occurrence of protected marine animals - dates, times, geographical positions, the number of animals, their ages, their conditions and the level of potential human impact (maritime traffic, tourism and fishing), as well as the basics of photographing these types of protected marine species.

The project aimed at the Zagreb veterinary students and their further education will go on for eighteen months, more specifically until October 2019, and is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) in the amount of 854,018,21 kuna, with a total value of 1,004,727.31 kuna. The project leader is the Argonaut association from Murter, and the partners of the project are the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Zagreb and the Pula Marine Centre. The project is being implemented in the area of Šibenik-Knin County, Zagrebačka, and Istria County.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.


Click here for the original article by SibenikIN

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Young Hunter Films Three Wolves in Split-Dalmatia County

There are three types of large animals living in the Republic of Croatia, the Eurasian lynx, the bear, and the wolf. While these animals do their best to stay well away from human interaction of any kind, there are rare occasions when they make an appearance a little too close to comfort, and even a little too close too home. One young hunter spotted three wolves drinking water in Lovreć, Split-Dalmatia County, causing a panic among locals.

While wolves have been protected in Croatia since 1995, they still carry their fearsome reputation, which may likely be uncalled for. Since these pack animals prefer to stay as far from the spotlight as possible, rarely coming into any form of contact with humans or human settlements, they aren't a common sight. Sadly, when they are seen more than once in an area close to humans, people begin to worry.

As Slobodna Dalmacija/Mladen Nejasmic writes on the 2nd of February, 2019, in the area of ​​Sidoča, in the place called Pozicija near the hamlet of Čolckušići in the Municipality of Lovreć in Split-Dalmatia County, young hunter Marijan Petričević managed to capture a rare video of a small group of wolves, consisting of what appear to be three adult individuals, drinking water on from a quagmire area designed for wild pigs.

The unusual and somewhat alarming picture immediately spread like wildfire across social networking sites, making the small group of Lovreć wolves become big news for a short time.

Many residents of that area claim that those three wolves are part of a larger pack which seem to have territory in the Kamešnica - Zavelim - Sidoč - Biokovo area, and that they are seen more often than usual in these dreary winter conditions.

Because of the large number of predators, the number of wild pigs has been reduced, a situation which is likely to upset hunters who make a living, or who simply live off their meat.

What is worrisome to the locals of Lovreć and other border areas in Split-Dalmatia County is the fact that hunters operating within this region have spoken about the constant presence of about a dozen wolves living permanently in that area.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for more.


Click here for the original article by Mladen Nejasmic for Slobodna Dalmacija

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Horned Vipers Still Active, New Species of Snake Makes Biokovo Home?

While a meeting with a horned viper is unsettling enough, is there another type of snake living in the mountains above the Makarska Riviera?

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Marine Life Continues to Pose for Šibenik's Underwater Camera

From fish to eels and loggerhead turtles, Šibenik's underwater camera continues to arouse curiosity among marine life.

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