The Register of Protected Natural Values of the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Upisnik zaštićenih prirodnih vrijednosti) has been created according to the Nature Protection Act (Croatian Zakon o zaštiti prirode) in 2005 (Ch. III/5, OG 70/05 with amendments in 2008, OG 139/08). The register is being administered by the Administration for Nature Protection (Croatian: Uprava za zaštitu prirode Ministarstva kulture) within the Croatian Ministry of Culture (Croatian: Ministarstvo kulture). The register serves as a reference database and unique official data source about protected areas in Croatia. The data in this register is public with the exception of special cases of confidentiality regarding the position of certain protected natural goods. The Nature Protection Act stipulates nine categories of protected areas.
According to the Register, within the Republic of Croatia 461 nature sites are protected in different categories, of which 12 are under preventive protection. The protected areas cover 8.51% of the total surface out of which 11.32% belong to the continental territory and 3.38% to the Croatian maritime area. The largest part of the protected surface are the nature parks (3.71% of the total state territory). Plitvice Lakes National Park is so far the only protected nature area that has also been added to the UNESCO World Heritage.
The Croatian constitution stipulates that the protection of natural heritage needs to be regulated according to the constitution and laws of the Republic of Croatia (art. 2).
As regards nature protection, the Croatian constitution stipulates:
Article 3 The protection of nature and the human environment belong among others to the highest values of the constitutional rights of the Republic of Croatia and are a foundation for interpreting the constitution.
Očuvanje prirode i čovjekova okoliša između ostalih najviše su vrednote ustavnog poretka Republike Hrvatske i temelj za tumačenje Ustava.
Furthermore, the constitution stipulates:
The sea, the coast and islands, waters, airspace, mining resources and other natural treasures, but also land property, woods, plants and animals, other parts of nature, immovable property and items of particular cultural, historic, economic and ecologic significance, which are of interest for the Republic of Croatia according to law, have its particular protection.
More, morska obala i otoci, vode, zračni prostor, rudno blago i druga prirodna bogatstva, ali i zemljište, šume, biljni i životinjski svijet, drugi dijelovi prirode, nekretnine i stvari od osobitog kulturnoga, povijesnog, gospodarskog i ekološkog značenja, za koje je zakonom određeno da su od interesa za Republiku Hrvatsku, imaju njezinu osobitu zaštitu.
Croatian State Institute for Nature Protection
The Croatian State Institute for Nature Protection (Croatian Državni zavod za zaštitu prirode, DZZP) is the responsible national institution for nature protection. It has been established by governmental decree in 2002 (OG 126/02). According to the Nature Protection Act (Croatian Zakon o zaštiti prirode) the institute is centrally responsible for specialized nature protection activities in Croatia (OG 70/05 and OG 139/08).
Protected area categories
The table below lists the protected area category, the management level and the proclaiming body.
|Protection category||Intent||Management level||Proclaiming body|
|STRICT RESERVE||Conserve intact nature, monitor the state of nature and education||county||Government of the Republic of Croatia|
|NATIONAL PARK||Conserve intact natural values, scientific, cultural, education and recreation intent||national||Croatian Parliament|
|SPECIAL RESERVE||Conservation due to its uniqueness, rarity or representativeness, and of particular scientific significance||county||Government of the Republic of Croatia|
|NATURE PARK||Protection of biological and landscape diversity, education, cultural, historical, tourism, recreation intent||national||Croatian Parliament|
|REGIONAL PARK||Protection of landscape diversity, sustainable development and tourism||county||County Assembly of City Assembly (City of Zagreb)|
|NATURE MONUMENT||Ecological, scientific, aesthetic or educational intent||county||County Assembly of City Assembly (City of Zagreb)|
|SIGNIFICANT LANDSCAPE||Conservation of landscape values and biological diversity, or cultural and historical values or landscape of preserve unique characteristics, and for rest and recreation||county||County Assembly of City Assembly (City of Zagreb)|
|PARK FOREST||Conservation of natural or planted forests of greater landscape value, rest and recreation||county||County Assembly of City Assembly (City of Zagreb)|
|PARK ARCHITECTURE MONUMENT||Conservation of artificially developed areas or trees having aesthetic, stylistic, artistic, cultural, historic, ecological or scientific values||county||County Assembly of City Assembly (City of Zagreb)|
The biodiversity in Croatia is amongst the richest in all of Europe. The reason for this is the specific geographic position of Croatia at the crossing of four biogeographical regions, each of which is characterized by specific ecological, climatic and geomorphological properties. The great diversity of habitats in Croatia has resulted in a wealth of diversity of wild taxa (species and subspecies). Unfortunately, the exact number of wild taxa in Croatia is still unknown. To date, almost 38,000 taxa have been recorded. However, the actual number is estimated to be much higher, with estimates ranging from a minimum of 50,000 to over 100,000.
The Register contains 817 protected and 2,307 strictly protected wild and domesticated taxa. For particularly protected species the Red List of Plants and Animals of the Republic of Croatia has been created. There are more than 100 species that are listed on the European IUCN Red List of endangered species.
- Nature Protection Act. Zakon o zaštiti prirode (2005)
- Zakon o izmjenama i dopunama zakona o zaštiti prirode (2008)
- DZZP.hr Zaštićena područja u Hrvatskoj - nacionalne kategorije (February 8, 2010)
- Fourth national report of the republic of croatia to the convention on biological diversity, 2009
- Članak 2. Hrvatski sabor ili narod neposredno, samostalno, u skladu s Ustavom i zakonom, odlučuje: o očuvanju prirodnog i kulturnog bogatstva i korištenju njime
- Constitution of the Republic of Croatia
- Zakon o zaštiti prirode (2005)
- Zakon o izmjenama i dopunama zakona o zaštiti prirode (2008)
- DZZP, Categories of protected areas in Croatia
- DZZP.hr Wild taxa
- DZZP.hr Protected and strictly protected wild and domesticated taxa
- Earthsendangered.com Endangered Species in Croatia