Velebit Mountain

This biosphere reserve is located in the large mountain area of Mount Velebit at the Adriatic Sea. With an altitude ranging from 0 to 1,757 meters above sea level, the area represents a 145 km long and 10-30 km wide stretch of karst landscape.

Declaration date: 1977
Surface area: 200,000 ha
Administrative division: State Directorate for Protection of Nature and Environment

Ecological characteristics

The maritime slope is barren karst, whereas woodlands cover the central mountain ranges and the Lika slope. Habitat diversity is very rich, comprising pine (Pinus halepensis) woodlands, submediterranean shrub (Paliurus spina-christi, Carpinus orientalis), beech (Fagussylvatica) woods, fir and beech woods (Abies alba), pine woods (Pinus nigra), subalpine beech woods and subalpine
meadows.

Human carachteristics

About 20,000 people live within the biosphere reserve (2003). Communities on the maritime side of the biosphere reserve are oriented towards tourism, fishing, traditional agriculture and services within the Velebit Nature Park.

Communities on the northern side of Velebit make their living mainly from agriculture, small enterprises, hunting and logging. Scientists and visitors will agree that the most valuable natural landmarks of Velebit include the caves called Cerovacke pecine (southern Velebit) and a pit called Lukina jama (northern Velebit). Many smaller caves and pits and a number of important geomorphologic objects (Kiza, Tulove grede, kuk Stapina etc.) and hydrological
objects (the spring and course of the Zrmanja etc.) are also of interest. A visitors center of the Paklenica National Park welcomes tourists and provides environmental education and information on the natural history of Velebit Mountain.


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                                                                            Last updated: February 2013

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