Ornithological reserves

The first bird reserve in the world whose primary goal was the protection of griffon vultures was proclaimed in 1969 on the island of Krk. This was on the coastal cliffs from Cape Glavina to the cove of Mala Luka. Later on, three more bird reserves were proclaimed in Kvarner Bay: one on the island of Prvić in 1972, and two on the eastern cliffs of the island of Cres in 1986.

The reserve in the northern part of the island of Cres stretches from the cove of Fojiška to the cove of Pod Predošćica, and is today better known by the name of Kruna after the picturesque cliff close to Beli. The southern reserve encompasses the coastal area from the cove of Mali Bok to the cove of Koromačna, and is today better known as Pod Okladi after the local toponym for the largest cliff in the vicinity of the village of Orlec. It is interesting that the name of this village is derived from orli, the local word for griffon vultures. Apart from vultures, the bird reserves are also home to other bird species such as the golden eagle, eagle owl, peregrine falcon, kestrel, raven, blue rock thrush, shag, and many others. In special reserves, the use of the space and also the activities carried out must be aimed exclusively at the preservation of the natural phenomena for which the reserve was proclaimed. This means that no interventions or activities are allowed which could endanger them.

Even though the majority of griffon vultures nest within the reserve, some of the nests can be found outside the protected areas. A notable example is a colony of a dozen pairs of griffon vultures that regularly nest on the cliffs of the island of Plavnik. This colony is under the greatest pressure from the tourist boats that visit and observe it during the summer months. Such activities, as well as all-day trips by diving boats and/or making a noise underneath the cliffs (by diving) can have a negative impact on the colony and cause the premature take-off of young birds or prevent adult birds from landing in their nest.

Aside from the protected areas, all Kvarner islands are part of the European NATURA 2000 network of nature protection areas – ‘HR1000033 Kvarner islands’, which was established with the aim of preserving 40 specific bird species, including griffon vultures, golden eagles, short-toed eagles, peregrine falcons, eagle-owls, shags, and others. All activities in the area of the NATURA 2000 network must be assessed (as well as strategies, plans and programmes) with regard to their compliance with the goal of preservation and the integrity of the network area. The protected areas and NATURA 2000 sites on the Kvarner islands are managed by Priroda Public Institution.

Information table (.pdf)