Natura 2000 in Croatia
Croatian Natura 2000 ecological network is one of the largest in the EU
With its diverse relief, climate, and geological substratum, Croatia is located at the crossroads of three biogeographical regions – Alpine, Continental, and Mediterranean. As such, it is one of the richest European countries in terms of biodiversity. Furthermore, as a coastal country, Croatia boasts a great degree of biodiversity of the marine ecosystems. Therefore, relative to the total size of the Croatian territory, the Croatian Natura 2000 ecological network is one of the largest in the EU.
The ecological network of the Republic of Croatia includes a surface area of 25,956 km2 and covers 36.8% of the land territory and 9.3% of the sea under national jurisdiction (territorial sea and exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Croatia). It consists of 745 sites significant for conservation of species and habitat types (SCIs/SACs) and 38 special protection areas significant for conservation of birds (SPAs).
The Natura 2000 ecological network sites in Croatia (under the Regulation on ecological network and competence of public institutions for managing ecological network sites, Official Gazette 80/19).
|Coverage||Land||Sea||Total (Croatia)||Number of areas|
|Ecological network areas pursuant to the Habitats Directive (SCI/SAC)||16,117.9||28.5||4,856.5||8.8||20,974.4||18.7||745|
|Ecological network areas pursuant to the Birds Directive (SPA)||17,102.3||30.2||1,045.4||1.9||18,147.7||16.2||38|
|Ecological network, total||20,797.9||36.8||5,158.2||9.3||25,956.1||23.2||783|
Natura 2000 ecological network in Croatia
Most of the areas protected under the national categories were included in the ecological networks (90% of total protected area) – therefore, about 29% of the ecological network area is also protected under one of the national categories. If we take out the overlaps, we are able to determine the total protected area dedicated to nature conservation in the Republic of Croatia – 38.1% of the land and 9.4% of the sea.
Areas protected with the aim of nature conservation in the Republic of Croatia (as at 31 December 2022)
|Coverage||Number of areas||Land||Sea (under national jurisdiction)||Total (Croatia)|
|Areas protected under national PA categories||408||7,668.0||13.5||615.9||1.1||8,284.2||7.4|
|Total (without overlaps)||21,580.5||38.1||5,200.2||9.4||26,781.0||23.9|