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Project goal:

Conservation of the subterranean ecosystems in Dinaric Karst Ecoregion.

The Project aims to protect Dinaric Arc subterranean ecosystems through protection of type localities of cave species, as a shelter for highly endemic and endangered fauna.

Project objectives 2011-2012:

  • launching Biospeologica Dinarica data base
  • SE Network establishment
  • development of cross-sector cooperation’s
  • scientific data collection and distribution
  • raising public awareness

Project objectives 2013:

  • The Cave Type Localities Atlas of Croatian Fauna, Volume 2

Origin of the project:

Cave species can be found in caves on all continents, but the caves in Dinaric karst are by far the richest caves with fauna in the world! Since subterranean species have “slow life style”, they are strictly tied to their restricted habitat, and are frequently known from a small number of localities (even a single cave). Thus Dinaric hypogean biodiversity is highly endangered and requires a more comprehensive and focused research in order to asses the biodiversity and define realistic biodiversity hotspots. Sustainable nature exploitation and management of the entire Dinaric region is the only way how to preserve the highly important natural resources. The transfer of knowledge and experience among institutions, organisations and experts from different Dinaric countries, together with those from the EU countries, is of the utmost importance for the commencement of long term environmental protection.

History of the project:

The Project has been implemented by the Croatian Biospeleological Society since 2000 at the National level. The Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning acknowledged the results of the Society and the importance of the Project, and awarded it with the First Prize for Global Contribution to Ecology in 2002.

The scientific paper Catalogue of Cave Type Localities of Croatian Faunapublished in 2006 is one of the most important results which encouraged the State Institute for Nature Protection of Croatia to include all known Croatian type localities of cave species in the Cro-Nen (Croatian National Ecological Network) and propose them for the future Natura 2000 sites as a prerequisite for Croatia’s admission to the EU.

The most recent Project result is the publication of The Cave Type Localities Atlas of Croatian Fauna, Volume 1 published in 2010. The Project results were important for numerous projects and publications, and they served as a basis for The Red Book of Croatian Cave Dwelling Fauna.

In May 2011 project is scaling up to cover the entire Dinaric region as Jana Bedek won the Whitley Award donated by The Shears Foundation. Scientific and Expert Network with the members from all Dinaric countries is established and together with the Croatian team that is working on The Cave Type Localities Atlas of Croatian Fauna, Volume 2 they are working on Biospeologica Dinarica.

  • 2011-2012: Whitley Fund for Nature: Subterranean conservation of the lost cave systems of the Dinaric Arc, Croatia, project leader Jana Bedek

  • 2010-2011: State Institute for Nature Protection: “The Cave Type Localities Atlas of Croatian Fauna” – Volume 2, project leader Branko Jalžić

  • 2008-2010: State Institute for Nature Protection and Croatian Waters: “The Cave Type Localities Atlas of Croatian Fauna” - Volume 1, project leader Branko Jalžić

  • 2007: State Institute for Nature Protection “Production of a biospeleology survey, education and popularisation leading to protection of the biosphere of the underground of Croatia III”, project leader Branko Jalžić

  • 2005: State Institute for Nature Protection: Catalogue of Cave Type Localities of Croatian Fauna project leader Branko Jalžić

  • 2003.-2005: Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning Production of a biospeleology survey, education and popularisation leading to protection of the biosphere of the underground of Croatia II, project leader Branko Jalžić

  • 2000.-2001: Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning Production of a biospeleology survey, education and popularisation leading to protection of the biosphere of the underground of Croatia, project leader Branko Jalžić