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CROATIA - DALMATIA - TREKKING AND MOUNTAIN-BIKE TRAILS

in Northen Dalmatia

Croatia - Dalmatia - Velebit - National Park Paklenica
 
Velebit Mountain is the most powerful example of the Dinaric Range, naturally dividing the Mediterranean from the continental part of Croatia. It stretches 145 kilometres in length, and due it the wealth of its flora and fauna, as well as the unusual relief, Velebit was awarded an International certificate in 1978 by UNESCO, including it into the International Biosphere Reserves as a part of the scientific project "Man and the Biosphere". Paklenica National Park and Northern Velebit are today part of the area of Velebit, which was proclaimed a Nature Park in 1981.

 

Paklenica National park stretches down the southern flanks of the Velebit massif over an area of 9,600 ha. This is an area of exceptional natural beauty, varying geological formations, interesting fauna and flora being of the greatest interest from a scientific point of view. It was proclaimed a National Park in 1949.

Due to the Park's specific geographical position, the climatic conditions of the Mediterranean and continental type clash here, creating ideal conditions for tourism in the coastal region. The Paklenica area, in view of the abundance of karst phenomena, is the most valuable part of Velebit. Two mountain streams (torrents) dissect here diagonally the massif forming magnificent canyons with vertical cliffs up to 400 metres steep. Special features of the Paklenica karst are the wonders of the underground - numerous caves.

The vegetation of Paklenica is varied and interesting. Forests cover approximately half of the area, and the greater part of these forests is beech and black pine woods.


Great importance to the Park is deemed by the endemic, rare and endangered plant species including Arenaria orbicularis, Aquilegia kitabelii, Campanula waldsteiniana, C. Fenestrellata and Ilex aquifolium. Some 700 species have been identified to date. The fauna is diverse. Some 400 different animal species have been registered in the Park, of these over 200 bird species. It is necessary to accentuate the European Bubo Bubo owl, the snake hawk - Circaetus gallicus, the grey falcon - Falco peregrinus and the white headed Griffon vulture - Gyps fulvus.


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