As the largest natural lake in Croatia, Lake Vrana Nature Park is situated between Zadar and Šibenik. Because of a number of bird habitats, it was declared an ornithological reserve in 1983, and a nature park in 1999. In 2013 it was included in the list of wetlands of international importance. Lake Vrana is about 1 or 2 km away from the coast so you can swim in the lake and in the sea in the span of an hour!
Reed is the most common plant on Lake Vrana. Many wading birds nest in thick bushes of reed. Can you imagine a field of reed swaying in the wind and thousands of birds flying above it?
Brackish water The lake is between 2 and 5 metres deep. Due to the proximity of the sea and the lake bottom being lower than the surface of the sea, salt water penetrates the lake, making the water brackish. Brackish water results from mixing of fresh and salt water, but it is less salty than seawater. You can find both freshwater and seawater fish there!
So far, 235 bird species have been recorded in the Park. Some of them nest only around Lake Vrana and they are important for the preservation of the species. The purple heron, the great bittern and the squacco heron are endangered and specially protected.
Birds are also being ringed in this park. They are caught by fine mist nests, so as not to be hurt, and then ringed. The rings carry various data, including data relevant for a bird’s life, and a country code, so that migrating birds can be traced. You can also take part in the “ringing camp”!