Natura 2000

Natura 2000 is the ecological network of the European Union which includes important bird habitats and preserved habitats significant for other wild species of interest to the European Union.

For the sake of preservation of targeted animal and plant species, and land habitats, the entire land area of the Vis Archipelago is included in the Natura 2000 ecological network, with the total of 7 protected zones.

With the total of 9 zones, the submarine area of Vis and all of its islands, islets, reefs and cliffs is part of the Natura 2000 ecological network, the aim of which is to preservemarine habitats and the highly protected species of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

Ecological network Natura 2000

Natura 2000 is one of the main tools for the protection of nature in the European Union. It is composed of areas part of a European network that are considered important for the preservation of endangered European species and habitat types. It was established on the basis of the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) and the Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Flora and Fauna (Directive 92/43/EEC). The goal of this ecological network is to preserve or improve the condition of the species and habitats listed in the directives. Aditionally, the Birds Directive refers to the preservation of all wild bird species present in the EU territory. Both directives also dictate a strict protection of species and the regulation of hunting and trade of species. Each member country of the EU contibutes to the Natura 2000 network by selecting the most important areas for each species and the habitat type from the directives.

In addition to the Nature Protection Act, which gives basic guidelines and regulations for management, there are a number of legal documents which closely define ways in which, to manage of areas within the Natura 2000 network. The public institution 'Sea and Karst' is in oversees such areas in the Vis Archipelago Geopark. For areas of special importance, there are spatial planning documents, a management plan of public institution and a specific Decree on the measures of protection, conservation, improvement and use of any protected area. The legal mechanism used to evaluate and determine the eligibility of a plan, program, or intervention is also important for the preservation of the ecological network.

Natura 2000 land areas

In order to preserve certain animal species and plant species, and land habitats, the entire land area of the Vis archipelago was included in the ecological network Natura 2000. This network includes a total of 7 areas under the following codes and names: HR1000039-Open-sea islands; HR2000941-Svetac; HR2000942-The island of Vis, HR2000943-Palagruža; HR2001097-Biševoland part; HR4000008-Jabuka, HR4000009-Brusnik.

Islands, islets and cliffs of the Vis archipelago are habitats to as many as 126 bird species. Of these, 11 are targeted bird species of the ecological network Natura 2000, namely the characterstic open-sea species of Eleonora's falcon (Falco eleonorae), Scopoli's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) and the Yelkouan shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan). Eleonora's falcon is of great importance since it is found almost nowhere else in Croatia, outside of the open-sea islands. Approximately 80 to 100 pairs nest in the area of Vis, Biševo, Svetac and the surrounding smaller islands.

There are 17 known species of mammal in the Vis archipelago, of which the most significant is the bat. There is a total of 10 known species of bat, 4 of which are targeted within the Natura 2000 network: Schreibers' long-fingered bat (Miniopterus schreibersii), Geoffroy's bat (Myotis emarginatus), the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) and the lesser horsheshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros). The most endangered island species is the greater horseshoe bat, Geoffroy's bat and Scrheibers' long-fingered bat. Only one amphibian species was found of the island of Vis – The European green toad (Bufo viridis). It is found at only two locations. The Vis archipelago is also home to 9 recorded reptile species, of which the most significant is the endemic type of karst lizard on some islets (Podarcis melisellensis var. melisellensis). The Four-lined snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata), is also a targeted species within the Natura 2000 network.

Until now, a total of 872 plant species were researched on the island of Vis, 485 of higher plant species on the island of Biševo, 383 vascular plants on the island of Svetac, 258 plant species in Palagruža's archipelago, 47 plant species on the island of Brusnik, 23 plant species on the islet of Jabuka and 24 plant species on the islet of Kamik. Among the flora of the Vis archipelago, there are 30 species targeted within the Natura 2000 network.

Natura 2000 submarine areas

The submarine zone of Vis and its islands, islets and cliffs is included in the ecological network Natura 2000, which aims to preserve marine habitats and the highly protected common bottlenose dolphin species (Tursiops truncatus). It is estimated hat the bottlenose dolphin population contains a minimum of 250 mature adults, and the Vis archipelago is the area in which this population raises its young. Around the waters of Biševo and on the southwestern coast of the island of Vis there are as many as 181 macroalgae families, 2 species of seagrass, 269 species of invertebrates, 347 species of phytoplankton and 100 zooplankton families and 4 whale species. Alongside 114 fish species recorded in the wider area of the Vis archipelago, there are 1017 registered families.

The coast of Vis archipelago is extremely rich in geomorphological phenomena.Some rather pecuiliar phenomena is the abrasion caves on the southern exposures of this archipelago; their formation occures beacuse of limestone structures and strong breaking waves from the open sea. Thirty-eight submerged and partially submerged sea grottoes, have been identified so far, and all are part of the ecological network Natura 2000. These grottoes give the submarine area of the Vis archipelago an otherworldly type of beauty and appeal. The longest partially submerged sea grotto in the Adriatic, the Monk Seal Cave, is located on the island of Biševo. That same island is also home to the most-visited partially submerged sea grotto in the Adriatic, the Blue Grotto, with as many as 120.000 visitors annually. Along the steep underwater seabeds of the Vis archipelago, in places with poor visibility and stronger currents, a heterogenous coralligenous biocenosis has developed, with gorgonias, stony corals, bryozoans, lobsters, starfish and numerous other organisms taking up the surface of approximately 1210 ha. Another characteristic of the Vis archipelago is excellent preservation which can be found at unusually low depths of 2 species of coral. The first is the highly commercially exploited and prized red coral (Corallium rubrum), than the second is the black coral (Antipathes sp.), an otherwise rare species in the Adriatic, which is at greater depths. Coralligenous cliffs are part of the ecological network Natura 2000, and need to undergo further research and protection. Due to the existence of widespread Posidonia meadows (Posidonia oceanica), some of which are hundreds or thousands of years old, the area of the Vis archipelago is part of the ecological network Natura 2000. It has been estimated that the seagrass plant of Posidonia covers up to 1171 ha of the Vis archipelago seabed. Sea grass Posidonia oceanica is the most widespread and endemic sea grass in the Mediterranean.

In the submarine zone of the Vis archipelago there are a total of 9 Natura 2000 areas included in the Republic of Croatia's Directive on the declaration of ecological network under the following codes and names: HR3000096 - the southeeastern side of the island of Vis; HR3000097-The island of Vis-submarine zone; HR3000098-Biševo the marine zone; HR3000099-Brusnik and Svetac; HR3000100-The islet of Jabuka-submarine zone; HR3000121-Palagruža submarine zone; HR3000122-The islet of Galijula; HR3000469-The Vis aquatorium; HR3000477-Reefs in the submarine valley of the island of Jabuka.

Kopnena Natura 2000 područja

Zbog očuvanja ciljanih životinjskih i biljnih vrsta, te kopnenih staništa, čitavi kopneni prostor Viškog arhipelaga uvršten je u ekološku mrežu Natura 2000 (1) što se odnosi na ukupno 7 područja pod šiframa i nazivima: HR1000039-Pučinski otoci; HR2000941-Svetac; HR2000942-Otok Vis, HR2000943-Palagruža; HR2001097-Biševo kopno; HR4000008-Jabuka, HR4000009-Brusnik.

Otoci, otočići i hridi Viškog arhipelaga stanište su ukupno 126 vrsta ptica od kojih su 11 ciljanih ptičjih vrsta ekološke mreže Natura 2000 među kojima možemo istaknuti karakteristične pučinske vrste, kao što su Eleonorin sokol (Falco eleonorae), kaukal (Calonectris diomedea) i gregula (Puffinus yelkouan). Naročito je značajan Eleonorin sokol kojeg izvan pučinskih otoka u Hrvatskoj gotovo nema. Otprilike 80 do100 parova ovog sokola gnijezdi na Visu, Biševu, Svecu i okolnim manjim otocima.

Na području Viškog arhipelaga zabilježeno je 17 vrsta sisavaca od kojih je najznačajnija fauna šišmiša, s ukupno 10 poznatih vrsta od kojih su 4 ciljane Natura 2000 vrste: dugokrili pršnjak (Miniopterus schreibersii), riđi šišmiš (Myotis emarginatus), veliki potkovnjak (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) i mali potkovnjak (Rhinolophus hipposideros). Najugroženije otočne vrste su veliki potkovnjak, riđi šišmiš i dugokrili pršnjak.

Na otoku Visu je nađena samo jedna vrsta vodozemaca, zelena krastača (Bufo viridis), na svega dva lokaliteta.

Viški arhipelag ukupno broji 9 vrsta gmazova, od kojih je svakako najznačajnija populacija endemične forme krške gušterice (Podarcis melisellensis var. melisellensis), koja živi na pučinskim otočićima. Otoku Vis je i stanište četveroprugog kravosasa (Elaphe quatuorlineata), ciljane Natura 2000 vrste (2).

Do sada je istraženo ukupno 872 biljne vrste u flori otoka Visa, 485 vrsta viših biljaka u flori otoka Biševa, 383 vrsta vaskularnih biljaka u flori otoka Sveca, 258 biljnih vrsta flore Palagruškog arhipelaga, 47 biljnih vrsta otočića Brusnik, 23 biljne vrste otočića Jabuka, te 24 biljne vrste otočića Kamika (3). Među floromViškog arhipelaga ubraja se 30 ciljanih Natura 2000 vrsta,

Morska Natura 2000 područja

Podmorski pojas Visa i svih pripadajućih otoka, otočića i hridi dio je ekološke mreže Natura 2000 s ciljem očuvanja morskih staništa i ciljane strogo zaštićene vrste dobrog dupina (Tursiops truncatus). Veličina populacije dobrog dupina iznosi minimalno 250 jedinki, a Viški akvatorij je prostor u kojem dobri dupin odgaja svoj pomladak (4).

Na području Biševa i jugoistočne strane otoka Visa, ukupno je zabilježeno 181 svojta makroalga, 2 vrste cvjetnice, 269 beskralješnjaka, 347 fitoplanktonskih i 100 zooplanktonskih svojti te 4 vrste kitova. Uz 114 vrsta riba zabilježenih na širem području Viškog arhipelaga, ukupno je zabilježeno 1017 svojti (5).

Obala Viškog arhipelaga izuzetno je bogata geomorfološkim fenomenima. Posebno je zanimljiva pojava abrazionih špilja na južnim ekspozicijama ovog otočja čije stvaranje uvjetuje struktura vapnenačkih slojeva i slobodan udar pučinskog vala. Do sada je evidentirano 38 potopljenih i polupotopljenih morskih špilja (6), jedno od ciljanih staništa ekološke mreže Natura 2000, koje podmorju Viškog arhipelaga daju nesvakidašnju ljepotu i atraktivnost. Najduža polupotopljena morska špilja na Jadranu, Medvidina špilja, nalazi se na otoku Biševu. Na istom otoku nalazi se i najposjećenija polupotopljena morska špilja na Jadranu, Modra špilja, koja broji i do 120.000 posjetitelja godišnje. Na strmim morskim dnima Viškog arhipelaga, na mjestima sa smanjenom vidljivošću i jačim strujanjima, razvija se šarolika koraligenska biocenoza naseljena gorgonijama, kamenim koraljima, mahovnjacima, jastozima, pločastim zvjezdačama i brojnim drugim organizmima čija procijenjena površina iznosi 1210 ha (7).

Za Viški arhipelag je karakteristična očuvanost gospodarski vrijednog crvenog koralja (Corallium rubrum) na dubinama manjim od uobičajenih te za Jadran rijetki nalaz crnog koralja (Antipathes sp.) na većim dubinama. Koraligenski strmci dio su ekološke mreže Natura 2000, te ih je potrebno dodatno istražiti i zaštititi. Zbog razvijenih naselja posidonije (Posidonia oceanica) starih i po nekoliko stotina, pa i tisuća godina, područja Viškog arhipelaga dio je ekološke mreže Natura 2000. Procijenjeno je da morska biljka posidonija prekriva 1171 ha podmorja Viškog arhipelaga. Morska cvjetnica Posidonia oceanica najraširenija je i endemska morska cvjetnica Sredozemlja.

U morskom dijelu Viškog arhipelaga nalazi se ukupno 9 Natura 2000 područja utvrđenih Uredbom Vlade RH o proglašenju ekološke mreže pod šiframa: HR3000096- JI strana o.Visa; HR3000097-Otok Vis-podmorje; HR3000098-Biševo more ;HR3000099-Brusnik i Svetac;HR3000100-Otok Jabuka-podmorje,HR3000121-Palagruža podmorje;HR3000122-Otočić Galijula; HR3000469-Viški akvatorij;HR3000477-Grebeni u Jabučkoj kotili.

1 -
2 - Šašić Kljajo M., Holcer D., Grbac I., Mihoci I., Pavlinić I., Štamol V., Tvrtković N., Vuković M., Radović D., Dumbović V. (2009). Kartiranje faune Dalmacije, prioritetna područja: otok Pag, estuarij Krke, otok Vis i pučinski otoci, otok Mljet, tok Cetine. Projekt GEF/UNDP COAST.
3 - Hrvatska florna baza podataka
4 - Holcer, D., Nimak Wood, M., Fortuna, C., Mackelworth, P., Rako, N., Dobrić, V. i Cukrov, M(2010): Utvrđivanje brojnosti i distribucije dupina na području Viškog arhipelaga, te davanje preporuka za očuvanje i održivo korištenje utvrđenih posebno značajnih područja - Izvještaj o provođenju projekta Plavi svijet Institut za istraživanje i zaštitu mora, Veli Lošinj.
5 - Žuljević, A., Despalatović M., Antolić B., Cvitković I., Nikolić V., Dadić V., Vidjak O., Skejić S., Muslim S., Holcer D. (2009). Morska bioraznolikost otoka Biševa i jugoistočne strane otoka Vis. Projekt GEF/UNDP COAST.
6 -
7 -