Guide: Animals of Croatia

July 4th 2023 in Explore
Guide: Animals of Croatia

Animals of Croatia

Countries with tropical climates and ecosystems tend to have the highest level of biodiversity. However, it would be unfair to assume that other countries, such as Croatia, cannot offer unique and diverse fauna.

Croatia is estimated to have between 50,000 to 100,000 species of plants and animals, some of which are exclusive to the country.

Balkan Lynx

Did you know the Risnjak National Park was almost named after this animal? The lynx is known as "ris" in Croatian, and this national park is one of the lynx's several habitats in Croatia. The Balkan lynx is named after the region where it lives, with a larger population in nations such as North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro. It is also found in Croatia's National Parks of Velebit and Paklenica.

The Balkan lynx is a medium-sized feline with enormous, pointed, unique ears that eat rabbits, birds, and rodents. One of the reasons for their difficult sighting is their solitary behaviour, as they do not normally walk in groups. Another cause, regrettably, is the country's declining population owing to hunting, road accidents, and a lack of food, which puts them in danger. There are currently estimated to be no more than 50 lynx in the country.

Brown Bear

Croatia is home to about 900 brown bears, Europe's largest carnivore. Brown bears find better refuge in the Gorski Kotar region or Plitvice Lakes, although present in most mountainous and forested locations and bear sanctuaries such as Kuterevo. Brown bears are huge carnivores that can grow to reach 2.40 metres tall and weigh up to 390 kilogrammes. They eat primarily fish, food, and insects. Brown bears in Croatia can eat up to 40kg of food to prepare for winter, despite appearing leaner in the spring.

Brown bears are tough to spot in the wild because males are reclusive, and females protect their cubs. It is advised to avoid any near encounters with brown bears in Croatia, as they can be extremely deadly. As a result, visiting the bear sanctuary in Kuterevo, located just outside of Otoac in Lika-Senj county, is a terrific way to see brown bears in a safe environment and learn more about their protection.

Wild Horses

Everyone has seen a horse at some point in their lives. Regarding domestic animals, the horse is one of the most recognisable, even to small children. Horses continue to be of tremendous assistance on farms and fields in Croatia, a country with rich rural traditions in all of its areas. But did you know that there are a surprising number of wild horses wandering the fields and mountains of Croatia? Yes, and wild horse populations in

Croatia have been heavily and consistently safeguarded.

Although there is little difference in appearance between wild and domestic horses, their behaviour is considerably different. Wild horses are not hostile creatures, yet approaching them needs extreme caution. Males, for example, tend to herd numerous females and guard them from other males in the wild, which is why they may be so protective. Wild horses are more commonly spotted than lynxes or brown bears, for example, while trekking in a National Park like Risnjak, Velebit, or Paklenica, in Nature Parks like Biokovo, or roaming big pastures. There are organised tours in Croatia to observe wild horses from a distance.

Pine Marten

While we are all familiar with the pine marten, it may make more sense to you to know that this is the famous animal known as the kuna in Croatia. The pine marten is not only the name of Croatia's money but also a significant symbol in the country and the country's official animal. If you've never seen or heard of a pine marten, it's a little omnivorous mammal that resembles a weasel. Pine martens are solitary creatures that eat birds, insects, bird eggs, and berries.

Pine martens are incredibly slippery and nimble, and they can hop from tree to tree like squirrels. Despite this, given their solitary nature, they are animals that can fall prey to predators such as foxes, owls, or even birds of prey. Unfortunately, they can become victims of human-made animal traps. They are not, however, endangered animals. Yes, they are quite difficult to discover in the wild.

Wild Boar

Wild boars are ubiquitous throughout Europe and uncommon in Croatia. They are wild pig that prefers to dwell in woodlands where they feel safer. Wild boars, on the other hand, may quickly adapt to various regions due to their broad diet, which consists of essentially everything that would fit in their jaws. And this is verifiable in Croatia, where wild boars have been sighted in the most forested places and swimming near Makarska, demonstrating that they are agile runners and adventurous swimmers.

Wild boars primarily consume berries, roots, and worms. Contrary to popular assumption, wild boars are not hostile but may react if they or their piglets are threatened. Wild boars are undoubtedly the simplest animals discussed in this article to locate, although caution and respect for their habitat are advised. Wild boars are popular hunting species in Croatia, although not endangered.