Other protected areas

In addition to national parks and nature parks, the Nature Protection Act lists 7 more categories of protected areas:

  • strict nature reserve
  • special nature reserve
  • regional park
  • nature monument
  • important landscape
  • forest park
  • park architecture monument

Strict nature reserve means an area of land and/or sea distinguished by unaltered or slightly altered overall natural environment, earmarked exclusively for the conservation of its original natural character, scientific research which does not affect biological diversity, monitoring the state of nature, and education which does not endanger the free development of natural processes.

Any business or other activities in strict nature reserves are prohibited.

There are two strict nature reserves in Croatia: Bijele & Samarske stijene and Hajdučki & Rožanski kukovi.

Special nature reserve is an area of land and/or sea of particular importance for its uniqueness, rarity or representative character, or is a habitat of endangered wild taxon. Any actions and activities which could impair the characteristics owing to which the reserve was designated as such are not permitted, while interventions and activities for maintaining and improving the conditions essential for the conservation of features owing to which the nature reserve was designated as such are permitted.

In line with such features, special reserves may be of the following types: floristic, micologic, forest and of other vegetation, zoological (ornithological, ichtiological, etc), geological, paleontological, hydrogeological, hydrological, marine reserve, etc.

There are currently 80 special nature reserves, of which 37 forest vegetation reserves, 22 ornithological, 9 botanical, 2 ichtiological, zoological, ichtiological-ornithological and marine reserves and one geological-paleontological, paleontological, geographical-botanical and botanical-zoological special nature reserve.

Regional park is a large natural or partly cultivated area of land and/or sea distinguished by ecological values of international, national or regional importance and landscape features characteristic for the area in which it is located. Business and other activities which do not pose a threat to essential characteristics and role of a regional park are permitted.

At this time Croatia has two regional parks Mura – Drava and Moslavačka gora.

Nature monument is an individual unaltered segment or a group of segments of living or non-living nature distinguished by ecological, scientific, aesthetic or educational value. Activities posing a threat to the features and assets of a nature monument and its immediate proximity constituting an integral part of a protected area are not permitted.

In line with these features, nature monuments may be of the following types: geological, hydrological, botanical, spatially minor botanical and zoological sites, etc.

There are 85 nature monuments in Croatia, of which 1 under preventive protection. Most of them are related to rare specimens of trees (31) and geomorphological nature monuments (34), followed by 7 geological, 6 paleontological, 3 zoological, 2 hydrological, one botanical and one geological-geographical nature monuments.

Important landscape is a natural or cultivated tract of land distinguished by major landscape value and biological diversity or cultural-historical value, or a landscape distinguished by conserved unique features characteristic for a particular area designated for relaxation and recreation or a particularly valuable landscape established pursuant to the Nature Protection Act.

Interventions and actions impairing the features owing to which the important landscape was designated as such are not permitted.

There are currently 85 important landscapes protected in Croatia, of which 3 under preventive protection.

Forest park is a natural or planted forest of major landscape value designated for relaxation and recreation. Only those interventions and actions aimed at its maintenance or improvement are permitted.

At the moment there are 33 protected forest parks.

Park architecture monument is an artificially shaped space (public garden, botanical garden, arboretum, municipal park, line of trees as well as other forms of garden and park landscaping) or an individual tree or group of trees distinguished by aesthetic, style-wise, artistic, cultural-historical, ecological or scientific value.

Interventions or actions liable to alter or impair the features owing to which the park architecture monument was granted protection are not permitted on a park architecture monument or in its immediate proximity which constitutes an integral part of the protected area.

There are currently 127 protected park architecture monuments in Croatia.