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Visit beautiful nature parks and many protected endemic plant and animal species

Visit beautiful nature parks and many protected endemic plant and animal species

Experience magical species of flora and fauna!

Croatia is a small country, rich in historical and cultural sights and natural beauties, and home to many animal and plant species. No matter whether you want to visit continental Croatia or one of our villas with a swimming pool on the Adriatic coast, we are sure that you will love the scents of Mediterranean plants and the company of animals that live in this area.

Besides the traditional Mediterranean flora and fauna, Croatia is home to several endemic species of plants and animals. Through this article, we want to give you a better insight into these unusual species and show you where you can find them. Remember that endemic species are protected and that it is forbidden to destroy their natural habitat.

Plants are crucial for the preservation of life on earth. Due to excessive pollution, drinking water as well as uncontrolled deforestation, Croatia is committed to the conservation of numerous natural habitats and a wide variety of plant species. Today, there are 6 endemic species in Croatia, which belong to the protected and endangered plant species list.


Degenia velebitica - Velebit Mountain Range
The Degenia velebitica is a protected endemic plant with yellow flowers and is the only species of its kind. It grows on mountain ridges or crevices of Velebit. So far they have been found only in three places: two places on southern Velebit and one in the central part of the mountains. Today, the Degenia velebitica is the rarest plant in Croatia. The uniqueness of this plant can be seen on the 50-lipa coin of the national currency.

The Biokovo zvonce - Biokovo Mountain Range
This relic plant with purple flowers dates from the Tertiary period. It grows on the upper parts of the Biokovo mountain, at an altitude of 1500 to 1700 metres above sea level. The plant propagates by seeds, but it only grows on mountain tops.

Brassica botteri - the island of Palagruza
The islands of Velika and Mala Palagruza are home to many endemic species. One of them is the Brassica botteri, which grows exclusively on these remote islands in the Adriatic Sea. Due to their isolation, the islands are ideal for the growth of endemic species. Other endemic species that grow exclusively on Palagruza, are the Centaurea friderici, Muscari speciosum and the Ornithogalum visianicum (Visiani’s Star of Bethlehem).


Istrian bellflower - Istria and Kvarner
The endemic Istrian bellflower grows on the eastern coast of the Istrian peninsula, on the islands of Cres, Krk, Rab and Pag and at the foot of the Velebit Mountain Range. The beautiful plant with purple flowers is a symbol of the old town of Plomin and belongs to the endangered plant species.

The Centaurea ragusina - Southern Dalmatia
The plant with soft grey-green leaves and yellow flowers is a southern Dalmatian endemic that grows in rock crevices. This plant is found in the Dubrovnik area and on the islands of the Dubrovnik aquatorium, but also on the island of Dugi Otok, Brac, Hvar and Vis.

The Dalmatian cranesbill- Peljesac peninsula
This rare endemic species with small pink flowers is only found in Albania, and in Croatia on the Peljesac peninsula. It grows on the slopes at an altitude of 300 to 900 metres above sea level. It blooms in June and July and grows in larger bushes. Its beauty was also acknowledged by the Croatian Post, by printing 5kn stamps with its image, in the year 2000.


Besides the rich flora, Croatia is also inhabited by numerous animal species. So far, about 400 bird species, numerous large carnivores (such as the wolf, the bear and the lynx), and small mountain animals (such as the badger, the marten and the fox) have been recorded. Two poisonous snakes can also be found in Croatia - the viper and the mountain snake. The Adriatic Sea is rich in various species of fish, shellfish and crabs. Especially worth mentioning are the dolphins, which live in the northern Adriatic and are happy to welcome visitors in their natural habitat. Croatia is also home to several endemic species of animals that are rarely seen.

Ogulin cave sponge - Ogulin area
The cave sponge is the only underground freshwater sponge that lives exclusively in caves. So far it has been found in only 6 caves in the Ogulin region. The Karst Waters Institute from the USA has named the Ogulin Sponge as one of the ten most endangered species and karst systems in the world.

Dinaric cave serpulid - Dinarides
The only cave mussel in the world is the cave eel. It is widely spread in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Recently two new kinds of its population have also been found, but accelerated urbanisation and pollution threaten the existence of this endemic species.


Underground leech - Velebit
The underground leech is the deepest found animal in the world. It was found in four deep pits on Velebit, first time in 1994 in Luke´s trench. Not much is known about this interesting animal, and its endangerment cannot yet be estimated.

The olm (Proteus angiunus) - Dinarides
The best known endemic species living in the groundwater area of the Dinaric karst relief is the olm. It is the only underground vertebrate that can live up to 100 years. It lives mainly in the groundwater with a constantly low temperature, where it can quickly bury itself into the mud. They live very deep underground, although we can find them near the entrance of the cave.

Proterebia afra dalmata - Dalmatia
Proterebia afra dalmata is an endemic subspecies of the butterfly. It lives in the areas around Zadar and Sibenik, as well as in the hinterland around Knin and at the spring of the Cetina river. After the females lay their eggs on plants and the caterpillars survive the winter, in spring we can see the adult butterflies flying through the green fields of the Dalmatian hinterland.


Croatian Dace - Gorski kotar
This endemic freshwater fish species lives in a narrow part of Gorski kotar, around Ogulin and Kapela. It inhabits the Adriatic and the Black Sea basins. Today, this Croatian fish is one of the most endangered fish species in Europe. Due to the constant decrease of its distribution area, it is classified as a critically endangered species.

The Balkan snow vole - Dinarides
This endemic species is the only mammal belonging to the group of endangered endemic species. It belongs to the order of rodents. It is widespread in the area of northern Velebit, Dinara, Biokovo, and as far as Snjeznica in Konavle. To date, it has been observed in 17 locations in independent areas. It is active all year round, mostly at dusk and at night.

Thanks to its excellent geographical position and pleasant Mediterranean climate, Croatia is an ideal habitat for many endemic plant and animal species. In fact, in addition to endemic species, there are also other Mediterranean plants and animals that make this area special. Visit Croatia and discover the charm of the Mediterranean Sea and its small and large inhabitants. We will be happy if you can see all the beauties of this area in nature.

Ana-Marija Tot

+385 1 222 70 50