Medvednica Nature Park is located near Zagreb and it has always been one of the top picnic places in the city. Did you know that the butterflies of Medvednica Nature Park haven't been systematically researched and that until now there hasn't been a comprehensive list of them? Only the individual data about butterflies of Medvednica can be found in old scientific papers or museum collections, which are 50-100 years old.
During the last year we have done the first systematic research of the butterflies of Medvednica Nature Park, financed by the Park itself. We recorded 84 different species of butterflies on 33 locations. Along with previously known data from the literature, the number of butterflies recorded on Medvednica is 123 species, or 62% of Croatian butterflies. This is a very high number, especially if we take into account a small number of suitable habitats for butterflies on the mountain. The most interesting habitats are dry thermophilic lawns on Vejalnica and fragments of moist lawns on the northern Medvednica. On the other hand, peak zone meadows are no longer suitable habitats for butterflies, because of the extensive mowing and a lack of honey plants.
We managed to record a few species which can be found on the Red list of butterflies of Croatia. Ten species that are near threatened (NT) and one species on list without enough data (DD).
This is only the first in a series of researches of butterflies in the Medvednica Nature Park and with the further research the number of recoreded species can be increased. It should be noted that we couldn't confirm 39 species that were recorded in the Park or near it in the past, so it's possible that some of these species have completely vanished within the Park area.
If you take a photograph of a butterfly during your walk through the Medvednica Nature Park, feel free to send us a photo and we will as soon as possible contact you and tell you what species you encountered!
Staff of Croatian herpetological society – Hyla spent a field research for the project „Monitoring of Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) and native species of snakes in the Mljet National Park", during the summer of 2015. Goals of this project were to establish a continuous monitoring of the tortoise and to record snake species within the national park. Project was carried out in collaboration with the public institution of the Mljet National Park. We monitored the tortoise using the method of linearly transects. This method includes a researcher who walks on the previously defined line in the field, which is exactly one hundred meters long. During the walk, researcher is looking in front of him, left of him and right of him and records an individual tortoise which he sees, along with the distance between the spotted animal and the transect line (Image 1).
Image 1. – Recording individuals on the transect line
We walked 20 000 meters in total, and after we collected the data, we made a graph (Image 2). On the x-axis are the distances on which we recorded the individuals while walking on the transect line. In this case, the greatest distance on which the tortoise has been recorded was four meters. On the y-axis are the number of the recorded individuals on the field. We generated the appropriate detection curve which gave us an assessment of the maximum number of individuals on the transect line (in ideal case). In this case that is 12 individuals. The density of the individuals is the same on all parts of the transect line (0, 1, 2, 3, 4 meters) so we can claim that the maximum average number of individuals (on every transect line) is 12. So we can calculate how much tortoises we didn't see on each transect line.
Image 2. Graph of a curve which estimates the population density (numbers are for example)
Surface area beneath the curve represents the individuals which were recorded during the transect line walks and the surface area above the curve represents the individuals which weren't recorded but live there. Ratio between these surfaces is 1:1 which means that for every recorded individual there is one that we didn't record. If we recorded 25 tortoises (numbers are for example), that means we didn't see 25 tortoises and the total number of individuals is 50. If we divide that number with the total surface area of the transect line (for example 800 m2) we'll get a population density of 6,25 individuals on 100 m2 (625/ha).
The results from this field research showed us that the population density of Hermann's tortoise in the Mljet National Park is 3-4 individuals/ha. In the whole park area there are 10 000 individuals of the Hermann's tortoise.
Jelić D. i Baškiera S. (2015): Monitoring (praćenje stanja) kopnene kornjače (Testudo hermanni) i autohtonih vrsta zmija na području NP Mljet. Terenski izvještaj. HHD – Hyla. 34 str.
Sutherland W. J. (2006): Ecological Census Techniques. Cambridge University Press
In Prigorje, on the eastern slopes of Medvednica Mt., lies a wonderful natural orchid garden. Every year around 25 taxa of this wonderous plant family bloom there. Recently, two new taxa have been found: the monkey and Beyrich's orchids. The monkey orchid is quite common in the Mediterranean part of the country, but in the continental part, especially around Zagreb, it is very rare. Our find represents the first record of this species in the eastern Prigorje of Medvednica after the 1952 record from neighbouring Pečovje! The Beyrich's orchid has, until now, been missing from the list of Croatian flora. Examining the literature, we found out that a 26-year old find from central Istria exists, and our finds from Vugrovec represent the first records of this species for continental Croatia, adding one more species to the list of Croatian flora!
Link to the article:
Photo: monkey orchid (Orchis simia) (V. Zadravec)
The Croatian herpetological society – Hyla attended the celebration of the International Mountain Day held on 11th of December 2015 in Opatija. During this event a photo exhibition was held and a new edition of the book called „Čudesno lijepa – prirodna baština Primorsko-goranske županije" was presented. This book was published by the Public Institution "Priroda" with support from the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar and the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund. The book was presented by the director of Public Institution "Priroda" Sonja Šišić and mayor of Opatija Ivo Dujmić. A variety of regional products were also presented, e.g. liqueur, woolen items and more. If you want to know more about the book, please visit www.ju-priroda.hr (in Croatian).
Završila je izložba o čovječjoj ribici (rujan 2014. - rujan 2015). Izložba je u jednoj godini obišla ukupno 42 osnovne i srednje škole. Pristigao nam je veliki broj prekrasnih radova, crteža, pjesmica i modela te je stručna komisija izabrala 10 učenika koji su bili nagrađeni posjetom jami Baredine, našoj jedinoj turistički uređenoj jami u kojoj se može vidjeti čovječja ribica.
Učenici su bili u pratnji svojih profesora te je ukupno 28 sudionika prisustvovalo završnom izletu u jamu Baredine. Na samom izletu podijeljene su dvije diplome. Prva je bila za najljepši crtež i pripala je učenici Jani Rovišćanec, a druga je pripala učeniku Karlu Cahunu za najkreativniju ideju. Zahvaljujemo se svim školama na sudjelovanju i doprinosu u Izložbi o čovječjoj ribici i podzemlju. Izložba je trenutno postavljena u muzeju koji je u sklopu jame Baredine te se tamo može pogledati do kraja kolovoza.