The Annotated Ramsar List: Croatia


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Croatia on 25 June 1991. Croatia presently has 5 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 94,358 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Crna Mlaka (Crna Mlaka Fishponds). 18/01/93; Zagreb County; 756 ha; 45°36'40"N 015°44'09"E. Ornithological Reserve, National Ecological Network. An extensive carp fishponds area that represents an important breeding, feeding and staging/stopover site for a number of wetland species, especially birds. The site comprises the alluvial wetland along the lower part of the Kupa River and its tributaries and is surrounded by one of the largest complexes of alluvial oak forests in Europe. The fishponds with their water surface, extensive marsh vegetation, and rich food resources represent important site for migratory and breeding waterbirds such as the Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca - together with other waterbirds, Crna Mlaka supports up to 15-20,000 birds during the fall migration. The Otter Lutra lutra and the Beaver Castor fiber also inhabit the fishponds. The site plays an important role in flood retention and control. Factors threatening the ecological character of the wetland include fish production activities and lack of effective water management. Within the site hunting is forbidden and forestry is restricted. Human activities in the ornithological reserve include fish production, recreational fishing and ecotourism. Ramsar Site no. 582. Mosts recent RIS information: 2012.

Lonjsko polje and Mokro polje including Krapje Dol. 18/01/93; Sisak-Moslavina, Brod-Posavina Counties; 51,218 ha; 45°21'43"N 16°50'02"E. Nature Park, Ornithological Reserve, Protected Landscape, Wilderness Area. A vast floodplain along the Sava River, covered by oak alluvial forest, alder swamp forests, wet meadows and pastures. The area supports more than two thirds of Croatian bird species (250 species), 138 of which breed in Lonjsko Polje Nature Park. The area also supports stable populations of species that depend on the forest integrity, such as the White-Tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla and the Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquilla pomaria. The site is also one of the biggest spawning areas for fish in the Danube basin. Ecological processes and inundation dynamics set the pattern for the traditional land use, creating a unique mosaic of anthropogenic and natural habitats important for the preservation of biological and landscape diversity. Land use activities are, among others, grazing, hunting, fishing and water management. The natural floodplain areas are used for floodwater retention. Ramsar Site no. 584. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Nature Park Kopacki rit (Kopacki rit). 18/01/93; 23,894 ha; 45º35'N 018º51'E. Added to the Montreux Record, 16 June 1993. Zoological Reserve, Nature Park. Located within the floodplain at the confluence of the Danube and Drava rivers, and subject to spring flooding, the site supports extensive reedbeds and woodland and includes numerous channels, oxbow lakes, and a complex of fishponds. The site is of considerable importance for breeding various Ardeidae, as well as cormorants, storks and sea eagles; wintering and staging birds also frequent the site. Principal human activities include tourism, hunting and fish farming. The area is subject to increasing siltation and nutrient-enrichment. During the military conflicts in the region, serious damage resulting from deforestation for firewood was reported. Subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission, 2005. Area significantly extended in October 2007. Ramsar site no. 583. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Neretva River Delta. 18/01/93; Dubrovnik-Neretva County; 12,742 ha; 43°01'40"N 017°34'25"E. Important Bird Area, Protected Ornithological Reserve, Wilderness Area, Protected Landscape. The Neretva is the largest river of the eastern Adriatic watershed, and its final section stretches through Croatian territory, forming an extensive delta with large reedbeds, lakes, wet meadows, lagoons, sandbanks, sandflats and saltmarshes. The area is important stopover place during migrations of birds from middle and northeast Europe to Africa, situated on the route of the Central European (Black Sea/Mediterranean) Flyway. The river mouth is of greatest importance for migration of waders, the Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, terns and gulls, as well as for breeding of the Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrines and the Stilt Himantopus himantopus. Reedbeds and water bodies shelter migrating and wintering ducks, coots and grebes, and the Neretva and its tributaries are exceptionally rich in fish species. The delta plays a very important role in flood control and sediment trapping. Besides the traditional agriculture landscape, there are large complexes of intensively managed agricultural land with plantations of tangerines and greenhouses with vegetables. The delta is also rich in cultural and historical heritage. The largest threats to the are connected to issues of water management and agriculture sectors (eutrophication, fertilizer pollution, land reclamation, and habitat fragmentation). Ramsar Site no. 585. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Vransko Lake ("Vransko jezero"). 02/02/2013; Zadar, Šibenik-Knin; 5,748 ha; 43°53"28"N 015°34'36"E. Nature Park, Special Ornithological Reserve. The largest natural lake in Croatia, situated in a shallow karst bed and separated from the Adriatic Sea by a narrow karst ridge. Significant seasonal variations in water level and changes in salinity due to intrusion of sea water through permeable karst create conditions for development of very specific habitats. The shallowest northwest part of the site is characterized by reedbeds, floodplain and seasonally flooded arable land; the hills lining the eastern coast are covered by typical Mediterranean macchia and garrigue, while the lower western coast gives a more rocky appearance. Vransko Lake marsh remains of what used to be a much larger Vrana swamp, drained by melioration canals in the 18th century. The site is a nesting, wintering and resting area for many threatened waterbirds, such as the Ardea purpurea, Egretta alba and Porzana pusilla. The lake is the biggest reservoir of fresh water in this region of Croatia. During rainy season the marsh regulates floods, and the reedbeds are excellent in purifying waters that enter the lake through melioration canals, carrying fertilizers that could enhance the lake eutrophication. A management plan (2010) for the Nature Park is being implemented. Ramsar Site no. 2109. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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