• Overview
  • Objectives
  • Costs to Consider
  • Site Conditions

Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni) is a data deficient Natura 2000 species and is a priority species for the Park to investigate. In the past this species has been heavily collected for the pet trade but within the park this is now well policed. This project is designed to produce data on the total population size and size and age group class structure of the population, plus additional information on movement patterns and habitat usage. In the past two years 65 tortoises from incidental captures within the park have been measured and marked with an individual mark but from 2019 onwards transects will be searched on a daily basis to increase the percentage of the population sampled and provide the population data required. All tortoises captured will begiven and individual mark by clipping the marginal scutes in s defined pattern, measured (carapace length, plastron length, weight etc) and released at the same site of capture. Recapture data can then be analysed to estimate population size and growth rates.

Croatia Research Objectives

Krka National Park

The Krka Valley runs from the Dinaric mountains bordering Bosnia to the Adriatic and is only 60km in length. However, since the river runs through limestone there are some spectacular gorges and this is one of the most scenic river valleys in Europe. It is also important from a biodiversity viewpoint containing 20 endemic fish species and spectacular cave systems containing a number of potentially new species to science.

Tourism in the Krka Valley is concentrated in the lower end of the valley and few people visit the central and northern parts of the valley. The Krka National Park authorities have built a research centre and museum in a remote part of the valley, in an attempt to attract more visitors away from the tourist hotspots. This project is working with scientists to provide data on the status of the endemic fish species, describing the cave fauna, examining how so many species of snake are separating their niches in the valley and assessing the impact of wolves moving down the valley and on the surrounding plateaus on the native jackal and fox populations. All these data are being fed back to the Krka valley research centre and the Park authorities hope to use this initial work as a way of attracting additional international researchers to the valley.

Silba Island is in the northern Dalmation archipelago and is a car and hotel free island. The island markets itself as a haven of tranquillity and much of the island is still covered by Mediterranean black oak and maquis. The objective of our partners on this island is to map the marine biodiversity around the island and particularly on the rocky reef islets which are currently protected for their breeding bird colonies, but which have no protection for their fish or seagrass communities.

Silba Island

Silba is a small island with no cars or hotels and is currently protected, along with the neighbouring Islets of Grebena, under the Natura 2000 scheme. This is because it has the largest breeding cology of sea cormorants in the Adriatic. However there is currently no protection for the fish and seagrass communities. The seagrass surrounding the island, Posidonia ocieanica (endemic to the Mediterranean), supports high levels of biodiversity and acts as an important nursery for juvenile fish. The increasing numbers of tourists visiting the island, along with the island’s growing population, is beginning to put pressure on Silba’s natural resources (through increased pollution, litter, and land use changes). At present there is no consistent monitoring of the wildlife in the area and Operation Wallacea is therefore involved in establishing a long-term monitoring programme to accurately record the current state and changes in the biodiversity on an around Silba. This information can then be used to inform future decisions and policy making in the area.

 

  • Opwall fee
  • Cost of international flights into and out of Split.
  • Cost of internal travel to and from the start and end point of the expedition, plus any hotels you might require. This costs around £102 or $143. Extra nights’ accommodation in Split costs around £66 or $96.
  • Park entrance fees – £13 or $19
  • Vaccinations and prophylactic medicines – cost can vary depending on your healthcare provider.
  • All prices in GBP or USD unless specified.

Climate
Croatia is hot during this time of the year! In both Krka and Silba the daytime temperature rarely drops below 30 degrees and can reach 40 degrees.

Fitness level required
Moderate. Whilst there are not many steep hikes in the forest, the hikes are still quite long and the temperature can make them tiring.

Creature comforts
At Krka we are planning on camping – accomodation will be in tents with shared western style bathrooms and toilets, and in Silba it will be in dormitories, again with shared bathroom facilities. There is some limited phone signal in Krka (but not reliable for a data connection), but good phone signal in Silba.

Locations

  • Croatia
  • Krka National Park

Want to get involved with this project?

Preparation

Want to get involved with this project?

Wallace House, Old Bolingbroke, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4EX, UK
| +44 (0) 1790 763194 | info@opwall.com