Horned viper

poskok

The horned viper is the largest and most venomous snake in Europe. Males grow up to 1 m and even longer specimens have been found on Velebit! You will recognise it by a zig-zag pattern on its back, small triangular head and a small horn on top of its nose. It feeds on mice, geckos and birds. Looking for birds, it sometimes strays into a tree! Thus the bites we get are not a result of its leaping, but of falling from a tree!

• Common shag

vranacThe common shag is a seabird with green sheen on black feathers. Even its feet are black. Its beak is black with yellow edges and eyes emerald green with a yellow ring. It feeds on fish, hunting at the depths between 20 and 40 m. It builds its nest in the bushes, for protection, where it also makes special tunnels so it can reach the sea.

Sea turtles

kornjaca
There are three kinds of sea turtles in the Adriatic: loggerhead sea turtles, green sea turtles and leatherback sea turtles. They are very rare and therefore strictly protected. Turtles live in the sea and lay their eggs on sandy beaches.

Nacionalni park Brijuni

znas liDo you know why turtles have a shell?
Turtles have thick skin covered with scales. Over time, the scales become hard and strong, creating a shell that protects the organs and the body. When in danger, the turtle pulls its head, legs and tail inside the shell. The shell grows with the turtle.

Otter

VidraThe otter is a strictly protected animal. It is timid and usually hunts at night. It is very playful, has an agile body and webbed feet. Most often it feeds on fish and lives only near clear and clean water. It used to be hunted for its fur and it was almost extinct because of pesticides.

Nacionalni park Krka

Brown bear

smedi medvjed

The brown bear is almost extinct in Europe, so it is specially protected. It weighs around 150 kg, and when it stands up on its hind legs, it is almost 3 m tall! The bear feeds on small animals, berries and grass, and it can drag away pray twice its own size!

Nacionalni park Plitvička jezera

Beaver

DABARBeavers used to be hunted for fur so they became almost extinct. Now they are protected and Kopački rit is their ideal habitat. The beaver can be up to 1 m long and can weigh 20-30 kg. It is an excellent swimmer and diver who loves to build dams to protect its home.

Park prirode Kopački rit

Apollo

apolonApollo is one of the most fascinating diurnal butterflies that lives only on alpine meadows, usually between 500 and 2500 m. You will recognise it by a characteristic pattern on its wings in the form of red rings with white centres encircled by a black line. Each specimen has differently shaped rings, just like people have different fingerprints. Apollo is strictly protected in Croatia and included in the Red List of threatened diurnal butterfly species in the category “critically endangered”.

Grouse

Veliki tetrijeb

The big grouse, called pivac around here, is a symbol of the Park, so even some peaks were named after it. Its proper name is big grouse or gluhan. It is a rare and timid bird, living in mountain forests.

Did you know that the big grouse actually turns deaf?
The male grouse sings to attract a female. At the end of the song, it cannot see or hear any more (gluhan comes from a word for “deaf”), so it is an easy prey for hunters. It is now protected.

 

Wolf

vuk

The wolf shares ancestry with domestic dog and is probably the forefather of all dogs. Long ago, it was the most wide-spread wild animal on earth. It usually hunts roe-deer, red deer, boars and small mammals. Wolves live in small packs that usually include parents and offspring. Each pack has its own territory, which it marks by urine and defends from other packs.

Nacionalni park Risnjak

Lynx

ris

The lynx is a very rare and furtive animal after which the massif was named. It is difficult to spot it, or even to come across its footprints. The lynx is the largest predator from the European family of felines. It is around 150 cm long and weighs around 25 kilos. You can recognize it by tufts of hair at the ends of spikey ears. It feeds on small animals such as squirrels, snakes and rabbits, and it hunts at night.

Nacionalni park Risnjak