VELEBIT IS OUR LARGEST AND LONGEST MOUNTAIN
IT HAS STRICT RESERVE, NATIONAL PARK AND NATURE PARK
VELEBIT, the symbol of CROATIA, is a real treasure trove for naturalists, botanists, tourists, hikers and all those who want and know to enjoy authentic beauties.
DUE TO ITS POSITION, SIZE AND NATURAL BEAUTIES, VELEBIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT AND THE MOST INTERESTING MOUNTAIN IN CROATIA AND EUROPE.
IT WOULD BE REALLY HARD TO FIND ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD A MOUNTAIN THAT IN THE SPACE, LIFE AND CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE PEOPLE HAS SUCH IMPORTANCE LIKE VELEBIT HAS.
Velebit was home to many generations of researchers, scientists and mountaineers. Thanks to them, today we have the abundance of written material and documentation, which enables multiple and complete evaluations of the mountains in the world of modern needs and aspirations.
Since 1928, smaller parts of VELEBIT (ŠTIROVAČA AND PAKLENICA) were declared as national parks but this formal act had a temporary character – every year it was supposed to extend it and it included only the most valuable forests.
Since 1949 PAKLENICA has been proclaimed as a national park in southern VELEBIT, and successively, the mentioned ŠTIROVAČA as a forest reserve, and HAJUDUČKI and ROŽANSKI KUKOVI as a strict reserve.
These data give a picture of diversity and wealth of VELEBIT. IN 1978. VELEBIT has also received international recognition, a charter of UNESCO, which included it in the international biosphere reserve within the scientific program “MAN AND BIOSPHERE”. Except for recognition, of course, that was an obligation to preserve all the natural values of this planet. Naturalists wanted to put VELEBIT as a whole under social care and protection. Why is it necessary to do this? VELEBIT is a mountain of national values, so it deserves such legitimacy.
VELEBIT IS OUR LARGEST AND LONGEST MOUNTAIN. VELEBIT has an impressive length of nearly 145 km. From Senj, or more precisely Vratnik, to Zrmanja, it has a length of 145 km and its width is 10-30 km. It covers an area of 2274 km2. Plant-geographical and especially floristic features provide VELEBIT the first place among the CROATIAN AND EUROPEAN MOUNTAINS. The botanists here listed 2700 species and 78 plant endemics, and they were the first who discovered the beauty of this mountain.
There are huge ecological differences between coastal and continental rainfalls, foot and top, rocky and forest habitats.
These differences are followed by the diversity of the plant world, too. The botanists know that, for example, ENDEMIC – DEGENIA VELEBITICA – grows on Earth only at VELEBIT, on several limited sites. It is also a relic of old times. Hikers and tourists especially like the ornament of the mountain – edelweiss (but because of that, this plant is endangered). Edelweiss have their habitats here, as well as a number of other interesting mountain flora representatives.
The birdlife of VELEBIT is made up of about one hundred native species. Seasonally, this number is increased by migratory birds, especially in the coastal area.
The diversity of biotopes (habitats), and especially of vegetation types, determines the diversity of this faunistic segment. Among other things, on VELEBIT you can also see a small number of predators: the Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos and Cyrcaetus gallicius), the Griffon Vulture and the owl (Bobo bubo). And a mammalian group at VELEBIT can boast with some significant representatives such as bear (Ursus arctos), wolf (Canis lupus), Marten (Marte, martes), white marten (Martes foina), wild cat (Felis silvestris), chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), lynx (Linx linx).