Croatian Herpetological Society – Hyla conducted field research for project „Monitoring of Italian Crested Newt, Triturus carnifex and the Danube Crested Newt, Triturus dobrogicus in Continental region of Croatia in 2014" in cooperation with State Institut for Nature Protection. In order to find Italian crested newt or Danube crested newt we examined many types of water habitats such as ponds, canals, flooded areas, etc. In these habitats we often found another two species of newts: smooth newt, Lissotriton vulgaris and alpine newt, Ichthyosaura alpestris.
Members of Croatian Herpetological Society – Hyla participated in „Natura 2000 Management Workshop“ held in Budapest, Hungary on 22nd and 23rd of September 2014. The workshop was organised by CEEweb for Biodiversity with the cooperation of ECNC (European Center for Nature Conservation) and support of the European Commission to address key management issues in the Alpine and the Continental/Pannonian/Steppic and Black Sea biomes.
Main focus of this workshop was on Alpine and Continental/Pannonian forest management - discussing management options and financing possibilities. In the library of CHS Hyla you can now find and read following publications: „The Economic Benefits of Natura 2000 – Factsheet“, „Financing Natura 2000 (EU Funding Opportunities in 2014 – 2020) – Guidance Handbook“, „The Economic Benefits of the Natura 2000 Network“ and „Four Highlights from Natura 2000 Forests (NGO Recommendations on Management)“.
Although you would never say, but there is one totally amazing species of lizards living in Croatia. This lizard is a member of a tropical skink family Scincidae. The vast majority of species of this family inhabits tropical jungles, deserts and exotic islands, but snake-eyed skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii) finds its home in Eastern Europe.Croatia is inhabited by this species in only two really small areas the size of a football field (in the Nature Park „Papuk" and in town of Ilok, eastern Croatia).
This species is closely connected to specific habitats of steppe-forest (oak and black ash) that are in Croatia extremely endangered and rare. Due to the lack of quality habitat, snake-eyed skink is also an endangered species, and over the last five years Croatian Herpetological Society and Public institution of Nature Park „Papuk" are implementing the project of preserving these fascinating animals. Given that the population in the Park is limited to two very narrow areas of the mountain peaks Turjak and Pliš (above the city of Velika) it was decided to make the intentional transfer into two new mountain peaks, where there is also a perfect steppe-forest habitat, but snake-eyed skinks have never been recorded. This measure is expertly defined as the intentional introduction (translocation) by IUCN, and it is for the first time used in Croatia and in the Balkan region. Previous cases of reintroduction of the lynx and beaver in Croatia were related to the transfer of new individuals to the sites where these species were already historically known, but for different reasons they disappeared (therefore called reintroduction). Although any kind of animal or plant introduction is strictly prohibited in Croatia by Nature Protection Act, it was decided that only with such radical measures it will be possible to save this endangered species from extinction. Nature impact study included three possible models of translocation, of which we elected model "from the wild back into the wild" which involves the transfer of males and pregnant females from one habitat directly to another (without captive breeding).
The aim of this intentional introduction to two new habitats on peaks Lapjak and Toplička glava was to increase the number of separate subpopulations, from two to four, and thereby increase the area of habitat, number of individuals and the health of the entire population (genetic fitness). Until now, there was a high risk of catastrophic events (fire, disease, etc.) to destroy all 1-2 acres of habitat and thus eradicate the entire skink population. In the case of the four separate habitats and subpopulations, this scenario is far less realistic.
Given that this is a strictly protected and endangered species of lizard, nature impact study for the implementation of the project has passed the evaluation of the competent Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection and the State Institute for Nature Protection. This study showed that introduction of snake-eyed skink will not have a significant environmental impact on the new habitat. Introduced populations will be monitored over the next five year period to confirm the successful introduction.
The research team from the Croatian Herpetological Society and Society for Karst Research-Freatik participated in 22th International Karstological School ''Classical karst'' and the main topic was ''Karts and microorganisms'' and it was held from 16th-20th of June 2014 in Postojna, Slovenia.
We presented new methodology of studying the population of Proteus anguinus species (Olm), which is implemented in 6 different cave systems and cave-diving techniques used in Olm conservation project. Through a poster presentation we tried to inform scientific community about Olm research and it's progress. Consequently we presented and discussed about additional research areas for defining protection zone/s which is one of the main project goals. It is paramount to include geology (classifying rocks, determining geological structure etc.), hydrogeology (defining drainage areas, points of water input to cave system etc.), geochemistry (water quality monitoring, conductivity, pH etc.) studies and GIS technology for that specific purpose. During the congress we gathered information on the possibility of using microbiological parameters and investigations to determine protocols for monitoring the stability of Proteus anguinus habitat. In addition we discussed problems with using above mentioned data in inferring conclusions about the definition of protection zone/s.
Poster authors: Petra Konrad Kovač, Bojan Karaica, Marko Budić
Project: Project PROTEUS – Olm conservation project, financed by MAVA fondation
From 1st of April our office is on new address Lipovac I. no. 7 on the first floor. If you want to visit us come to Zagreb, Croatia and go to Kvaternikov square then uphill. For more information visit google maps.
New Red Book brings new IUCN assessement of all species at the national level and a detailed review of their distribution and ecology, based on more than 20,000 database records. This is the first red book of its kind constructed in such a comprehensive data set in Croatia. Data analysis and writing of the book lasted full two years.
The red book is only available in digital format, and can be downloaded free of charge from the pages of the State Institute for Nature Protection > DOWNLOAD ME
Red book will not be printed because of the decision of the State Institute for Nature Protection.
The Croatian Herpetological Society – Hyla conducted a monitoring of invasive species of herpetofauna on water surfaces within the two protected areas of the city of Zagreb – The monument of park architecture Park Maksimir and significant landscape Savica. The studies were carried out in the period from September to October 2015. The project contractor was the Public institution "Maksimir". Three species of non-native turtles have been recorded in Croatia: pond slider (Trachemys scripta), chinese softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) and false map turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica), and two subspecies of the genus Trachemys were recorded in the study area – red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta scripta) and yellow-bellied slider (T. scripta elegans). They naturally inhabit the southeastern part of the USA. Monitoring is carried out in such a way that the specimens of T. scripta were counted through three separate methodologies to test their effectiveness. The method of line transects along the coast yielded the best results. The estimated number of individuals in the area of Maksimir is between 500 and 700 individuals, while the estimation for Savica is approximately 100 individuals. The lakes in Savica and Maksimir are located in the urban area of the city, and a large number of foreign red-eared sliders was found. Since these sites are close to or are associated with a major river system (Sava River), it is necessary to monitor population trends and develop a management plan for this species.