Here are details of groups, associations and areas of the country – including national and nature parks – for those interested in ecology and nature in Croatia.
Dalmatian Islands Environment Foundation
The Dalmatian Islands Environment Foundation supports local environment and conservation initiatives to protect and restore the Dalmatian islands. They work to support local initiatives to sustain the natural assets of the islands, supporting projects to bring social and economic benefits to island communities. You can volunteer or offer your services, as well as fundraise for the foundation…or simply donate!
Blue World Institute
Primarily located on the islands of Losinj, Murter and Vis, the aim of the Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation is to protect the Adriatic’s marine life through research, education and conservation.
Their research focuses on larger marine animals such as dolphins, whales, turtles, sharks and devil rays, and their initiatives include the Adriatic Dolphin Project which studies bottlenose dolphins in the Mediterranean. They also host Dolphin Day on Losinj every 1st July which allows visitors to learn more about these creatures through educational and fun activities.
Griffon Vultures on Cres
There are colonies of the Eurasian Griffon vulture near Beli on the north of the island of Cres. Beli Rescue Centre for Griffon Vultures aims to protect these wonderful birds, as well as the natural heritage of the island; you can visit the centre year-round to find out more about the birds.
Read more about the rescue, care and release of Griffon vultures on the island in this article: A new life for Croatia’s griffon vultures (The Daily Telegraph, 11th November 2009)
The Sokolarski Centar (Falconry Centre), 8km from Sibenik, is home to a number of wonderful birds (griffon vultures, hawks, owls, falcons, buzzards). The Centre can be visited from April to September, with the ticket price including a talk about the birds.
Secrets of the Island of Cres
Experience the beauty and heritage of the islands of Cres and Losinj. Recover from the stress of modern life. Walking, cycling, climbing and more. They offer expert guiding and an active holiday of a different kind along with modern apartment accommodation.
National Parks in Croatia
Much of Croatia’s nature and wildlife can be observed in one of the country’s eight national parks, including the Brijuni Islands, the Kornati Islands, Krka, the island of Mljet and, of course, Plitvice Lakes. The parks contain an outstanding variety of geological and natural phenomena, as well as being home to various animal populations.
You can organise your own trips to these National Parks, or join an excursion; whilst in them, there are also numerous activities to undertake, which is especially true for some of the island Parks whether it’s swimming, diving, hiking or cycling. In most cases, it is also possible to stay within (or at least very near to) these parks – please see the above websites for accommodation possibilities.
Volunteer at a National or Nature Park in Croatia
There are a number of volunteer positions available at Croatia’s stunning national and nature parks – involving restoration, preservation and monitoring of the parks, or visitor-facing roles. Find out more on the Volunteer in Parks of Croatia page.
Gorski Kotar is a nature reserve near Rijeka, covering an area of about 2,000 sq. km in which wolves, lynx, boars and brown bears live in its forests. The region is also home to several towns and villages which are well worth visiting, including Delnice and Ravna Gora.