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Important Plant Areas of Croatia

Number of IPAs: 97

IPA Area: 964,655 hectares

IPA biographical zones: Pannonic, Continental, Alpine, Mediterranean

Croatia covers 56,500km2

Waterfall falls from lake in tree covered area

Croatia has 97 Important Plant Areas, covering 964,655 hectares.


Croatia covers 56,500 km2 from the Adriatic coast to the mountains of the north. It borders with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, and Hungary. There are four biogeographic zones: Pannonic, Continental, Alpine and Mediterranean which contain large numbers of Balkan endemic plants and a rich mosaic of plant communities from large areas of natural forest to grasslands, coastal and island habitats.


Lowland Croatia is bordered by the Sava, Mura, Drava and Danube rivers. Large areas of wet oak-woods contain the greatest biological diversity of the region. Highland Croatia consists of a section of the Dinaric Alps; a ridge of karst (limestone) stretching parallel to the coast from the north-west to the south-east of the country. The highest peak is Dinara at 1,831m. The major habitats are the beech and fir forests; the high mountain rock and scree with unique endemic and relict mountain flora and fauna and remnants of the most southerly European heaths. Croatia has 6116 km of coastline including 1,231 islands, islets and reefs. The major natural features are the coastal forests and their succession stages, the stony limestone coast the islands, and the rivers, marshes and lakes of the Adriatic catchment area.

Forest (woodland) and grassland habitats are the most frequent within Croatia’s IPAs, occurring within 93% and 87% respectively. IPAs are formed from a mosaic of different habitats; heathland, cultivated and constructed habitats are present up to 25% in two thirds of IPAs.


Only 18 IPAs in Croatia are either fully or partly protected at a national level. Land abandonment is the greatest threat, affecting 62% of sites. Three quarters of IPAs are used for tourism and recreation activities. Development threatens 44% of sites and 33% are threatened by development specifically associated with tourism: coastal and island IPAs are especially vulnerable.



Further information

IPA data

Data set

Important Plant Areas in Central and Eastern Europe

Find Croatia on pages 70-71