Did you know?

- That in Croatia the common or European yew (Taxus baccata) is protected because this costly and valued hard wood was being exploited to excess?
- That the oldest known living yew tree in the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar is the tree that stands in the Široka Draga area (in the Mrkopalj Municipality) and that it is estimated to be more than 2000 years old?
- That yew tress can be either male or female? The male trees have pollen-producing flowers, while the female trees produce seeds in a fleshy, bright-red berry-like structure, called an aril.
- That the aril is the only part of the yew tree that is not poisonous? Birds find it very tasty, and by dispersing its seeds, help the species to spread.
- That a 150-year-old spruce tree is growing from within the cavity of the trunk of the oldest yew tree located in the Mrkopalj Municipality?
- That an old yew tree in the small village of Međedi in the vicinty of the town of Vrbovsko is a protected natural monument (individual tree specimen)?

Did you know?

- That the Strict Reserve Hajdučki and Rožanski Kukovi in the Velebit range and the Strict Reserve Bijele and Samarske Stijene in Gorski Kotar are sites of unparalleled, magnificent landscapes and preserved nature?
- That in Croatia only two areas have been proclaimed strict reserves and that one of them - the Strict Reserve Bijele and Samarske Stijene - is located in the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar?
- That despite the large amount of precipitation this area receives, the Bijele and Samarske Stijene are waterless because all water seeps down into the karst underground through deep crevices?
- That by dissolving limestone, water is continuously active in shaping the natural stone sculptures that are characteristic of this strict reserve? The hardy trees and colourful mountain flowers growing on these formations lend their beauty in creating a picture of unmatched natural harmony.
- That people call the lush and colourful mountain flora and tall herbs found in the bottom of dolines "mountain gardens" because they are so beautiful and rare?
- That the karst Edelweiss - the favourite flower of mountaineers and the symbol of the karst mountain heights - can be found in abundance in the Strict Reserve Bijele and Samarske Stijene?
- That the Bijele and Samarske Stijene are the habitat of the rare black salamander (Salamandra atra) and a viviparous lizard (Lacerta vivipara) that gives birth to live offspring and has, in this way, adapted to the harsh climate conditions of this mountain area?
- That in some of the deep crevices and dolines of the Bijele and Samarske Stijene snow can be found during most of the year, and that some ice-pits even contain perennial ice?
- That a passage through the Bijele Stijene was discovered by the then Royal Head Warden, Jakov Mihelčić, as he was following the tracks of a bear? He shared his discovery with the well-known Croatian naturalist and travel writer, Dragutin Hirac, and together they scoured the previously impassable and unknown rock sculptures of the Bijele Stijene on 28 July 1899.

Did you know?

- That, in the territory of the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar, as many as 75 different species of wild orchids have been recorded, which is exactly half the total number of wild orchid species found in Croatia?
- That a large number of wild orchid species in the County have been in classified in various categories of threatened species and that most of them are protected species?
- That during recent field studies prior to setting up educational trails in the protected Forest Park Japlenški Vrh near Delnice, the forest orchid Creeping Goodyear (Goodyera repens), rare in Croatia, was discovered?
- That the islands and coast of the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar are habitats rich in various types of orchids of the Ophrys genus? These orchids are special in that the shape and scent of their flowers resemble various types of female insects and, in this way, they stimulate males to pollinate the flowers.
- That one of the most rare and beautiful of Croatian orchids, the lady's slipper (Cypripedium calceolus) has been recorded in Gorski Kotar? Unfortunately in recent times, there is no evidence that this type of orchid still grows there.

Did you know?

- That according to the estimations of botanists, the flora of the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar contains more than 2,700 species, which is more than in some considerably larger European countries?
- That the Krk Island, with its 30 indigenous species of amphibians and reptiles, is the richest island in the Mediterranean in terms of herpetology?
- That the largest habitat of Degenia velebitica - previously thought to exist only in the Velebit mountain range - was recently discovered in the territory of the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar?
- That 111 bird species have been recorded in Gorski Kotar, of which 84 are nesting birds?
- That the valley of the River Kupa is known as the "valley of butterflies" because this narrow area is home to more than 500 species of these delicate, colourfully winged insects?
- That two new, previously unknown endemic species of the black butterfly (Erebia) have been discovered in Gorski Kotar?


- That the surface of proclaimed and protected nature areas on the County's mainland already amounts to 281 km2, and that the PI "Priroda" manages about 120 km2, together with five individual natural monuments.
- That in the sea, temporary protection is provided to 535 km2 of the Lošinj water-area, which falls under the category of special marine reserve, also managed by the PI "Priroda".
- That protected areas under the authority of the Institution cover 3.5% of the County's mainland or 10% of its combined land and sea areas.
- That there are a total of 26 protected areas or individual natural monuments in the County under the authority of the Institution.


- That the National Ecological Network of Croatia, established at the end of 2007, covers 44% of the country's territory.
- That, in alignment with the Decree on the Proclamation of the National Ecological Network (Official Gazette no. 109/07), the Network is managed by county public institutions in charge of protected nature areas.
- That in 2008, the State Institute for Nature Protection initiated a procedure for establishing and implementing NATURA 2000, a European ecological network that is to be based on the National Ecological Network.
- That a major part of the County's territory is included in the National Ecological Network.


- That the County has a total land area of 3,582 km2, of which 3,159 km2 or over 88% of the County's territory is included in the Ecological Network.
- That the National Ecological Network (NEN) in the County covers:

- in the coastal region and Gorski Kotar 2,048.49 km2
- in the Učka region 87.96 km2
- on the islands and the sea 2,659.71 km2
- TOTAL: 4,796.16 km2 (SEA AND LAND)
- Total County area (sea and land) 7,993 km2
- NEN accounts for 61% of the County's total land and sea area (but it should be noted that the Adriatic Sea area has yet to be adequately explored and included in NEN…)

- Only 423 km2 of the County's total surface area are not a part of the National Ecological Network.

Did you know? - Invasive alien species

- That the theme of International Day of Biological Diversity in 2009 is "Biodiversity and Invasive Alien Species"?
- That invasive alien species are species that, in most cases, have spread outside of their natural range through the intentional or unintentional actions of people, and that they are a threat to biological diversity in the area they have colonised?
- That the damage caused by invasive alien species in the world amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars, and this does not include damage caused through the extinction of species and the loss of biodiversity, or damage to ecosystems and the aesthetical disruption of landscapes?
- That the ecosystems of the Primorsko-Goranska County (with the exception of the Kvarner Bay islands on which the problem of invasive, non-native species of game has escalated) have been fairly successful in withstanding the penetration of invasive species? This can probably be attributed to the fact that the County's biological systems and natural communities of plants and animals are well preserved, and that the inherited biological diversity in this area is high.

Did you know? - Invasive alien species on land

- That the places that see the greatest penetration of invasive alien species are uncleared areas, earth excavations, infrastructure corridors, waste dumps, the shoulders of roads, the sides of railway tracks… together with other, more or less degraded areas in which people have disrupted the natural balance of ecosystems?
- That the ambrosia is an invasive species that (for now) is causing the greatest health problems for people because of the exceptionally allergenic properties of its pollen?
- That the ambrosia can spread unusually quickly along roadsides and at earth excavations, and that it is exceptionally difficult to eradicate?
- That in the Rijeka region, the ambrosia was first recorded in 1982 along the embankments of the train station at Škrljevo?
- That a considerable number of invasive alien species spread through river valleys, and in the Primorsko-Goranska County, especially through the valley of the Kupa River?
- That some of the invasive species of plants in the Primorsko-Goranska County are ornamental horticulture species (flowers, trees, shrubs) that have escaped from cultivation?
- That the young researchers of the Association Our Children of Mali Lošinj discovered a population of the tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), an invasive plant species, while taking an inventory of the flora of the protected Forest Park Čikat as part of a botanical workshop organised on 16 May 2009 to celebrate International Biodiversity Day and Ambroz Haračić Day? Research on how to eliminate this harmful invasive species is to follow.

Did you know? - Invasive alien species in forests

- That the locust tree, in addition to the tree-of-heaven, is the best-known invasive alien forest species in our region?
- That in the Primorsko-Goranska County the locust tree spreads the fastest in humid flysh depressions and it supplants the native, forest plant life?
- That the trees in our forests and parks, and the trees lining our streets are under threat from several invasive species of wood-boring beetles?
- That the invasive redheaded ash borer, Neoclytus acuminatus, is the reason why the nettle trees lining the streets of Novi Vinodolski are drying up?
- That an invasive species of butterfly spreading through Europe is attacking and threatening horse chestnut trees in the Primorsko-Goranska County as well?

Did you know? - Invasive alien species in freshwater

- That the gambusia fish or mosquito fish, used in eradicating mosquitoes, is an invasive species, as it out-competes the rich, indigenous fauna of littoral ponds?
- That some invasive alien fish species that people have intentionally introduced in freshwater ecosystems represent a severe threat to indigenous fish populations?
- That, in the Primorsko-Goranska County, the Canadian waterweed, an invasive freshwater plant, has been recorded only in one pond in the Kastav region?
- That in recent years, the Asian tiger, an invasive and highly aggressive species of mosquito, has been spreading in the Primorsko-Goranska County, and that it mostly reproduces in small rain puddles that remain in discarded tire casings?
- That the Asian tiger mosquito is a potential transmitter of serious diseases, and that it can be recognised by the white stripes on its legs?

Did you know? - Invasive alien species in the sea

- That the invasive tropical green alga, Caulerpa, discovered in 1992 near Malinska in the sea area of the Primorsko-Goranska County and later in the Barbat Channel, is believed to have disappeared because of the low temperatures of the sea during the winter of 2003?
- That the discovery (near Cape Oštro in the Kraljevica sea area) of another tropical alga, Womersleyella setacea, confirms the assumption that the Kvarner Bay has become a favourable area for the colonisation of Indo-Pacific species, some of which are invasive?
- That the invasive red alga, Womersleyella setacea, is the subject of research conducted by researchers of the Natural History Museum of Rijeka as part of a doctoral dissertation?
- That future problems with invasive alien species in the Primorsko-Goranska County can be expected as a result of ships' ballast waters discharged into the sea and fouling on the hulls of ships sailing the world seas?

Did you know? - Potential impacts of climate change on landscapes and biological diversity in the primorsko-goranska county

- That, in the Primorsko-Goranska County, the first habitats to feel the effects of climate change are likely to be the special habitats of shallow muddy shorelines of the Kvarner islands, such as the Solina Cove on the island of Krk, the salt marsh Piskel on Cres Island, or Supetarska Draga on Rab Island?
- That certain species of mountain butterfly (some endemic high-mountain Ringlets /Erebia spp, Satyridae/, the highland Apollo butterfly) and mountain plants are especially vulnerable to climate change? This is because warming in the mountains will leave them with nowhere to migrate. Because our mountains are fairly low, these species are already living in unfavourable conditions at their upper range limit.
- That it is likely that vulnerable species that have managed to survive as boreal and ice-age relicts in the last remnants of our bogs will become extinct?
- That, although we cannot yet forecast the fate of relict communities and species adapted to special (micro) climate conditions in our deep karst dolines and frost pockets, we can be sure that they will also be affected by some type of change?
- That, even now, the fact that trees (particularly coniferous trees) in the forests of highland areas are drying up and dying can, at least partially, be attributed to climate change?
- That, because of the changing climate, our region can expect to see the continued expansion from warmer areas of certain harmful, invasive alien species, both on land and at sea (such as the Caulerpa algae, the Asian Tiger mosquito, and others)?
- That we can expect to see the spreading of certain tropical diseases and their transmitters?
- That (in the long run) the appearance of our landscapes is likely to change, with entire plant communities shifting their range?
- That we can expect to see a growing number of forest fires, as well as increased soil erosion and landscape denudation?
- That, in coastal and island landscapes, we can expect to see an expansion of arid areas, similar to those found today in the desolate, rocky regions of the islands of Krk, Cres, Rab and Prvić, figuratively called "lunar surfaces"?
- That in these arid regions, we can expect to see the increased formation of so-called soil crusts, which are exceptionally rare in these areas today and, being vulnerable to treading, are subject to the strong impact of people?

Did you know? - The Lošinj Wild Leek

- That Lošinj Island, or more precisely the islet of Karbarus located less than a kilometre from the western shore of Lošinj, is the typical location or locus classicus of the Lošinj Wild Leek.
- That Ambroz Haračić (1855 - 1916), renowned natural scientist of Lošinj, discovered and described a new taxon of wild onion on the islet of Karbarus and later on other coastal areas of Lošinj Island, naming it the Lošinj Wild Leek (Allium ampeloprasum L. var. lussinense Haračić).
- That the Lošinj Wild Leek is distinguished from related taxa of Wild Leek by two small spikes located on the stamen shafts of the outer circle.
- That the Mammoth Wasp, a large coastland wasp of the genus Scolia, is the main pollinator of the Lošinj Wild Leek. Although this wasp may seem a bit frightening, if left alone it is mostly harmless.
- That, during WWII, the Lošinj Wild Leek was part of the diet of almost 80 percent of the population of the Cres and Lošinj archipelago.
- That, on 30 April 2010, an interesting exhibition entitled "Cres Wild-growing Plants and the History of Bilinarenje (Herbalism)" opened in the Town Museum of Cres, and that the Lošinj Wild Leek is among the wild, edible plants featured.
- That the Lošinj Wild Leek grows in certain protected areas of the Kvarner islands, managed by the Public Institution "Priroda".
- That, recently, there has been a revived interest in gathering and eating edible wild-grown plants, and we urge all potential gatherers to be careful not to uproot all specimens of a specific type of wild plant and, especially, to take care not to collect wild plants in protected areas.