Saturday, 22 March 2008

Country Profile: Croatia

Croatia (Hrvatska) is a Republic which broke away from Yugoslavia in June 1991. Croatia is not a member of the EU but will most likely be in the near future. Croatia lies in the Balkans, along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is a crescent shaped country with Bosnia-Herzegovina to the east, Serbia and Montenegro to the east and south-east, Hungary to the north-east and Slovenia to the north. The Adriatic coast forms the whole western edge of the country. The capital Zagreb is located in north-central Croatia. The country covers around 56,542 km² and has a very varied range of landscapes. The main four are: the lowlands of Slavonia, the Dinaric Alps (a chain of inland mountains), the coast and an archipelago of more than 1000 islands in the Adriatic Sea. It is an important country for several threatened European species but also has healthy populations of other birds which, though not endangered, have declined badly in western Europe. e.g an estimated 3000 pairs of Ferruginous Duck, Short-toed Eagle is locally common and Rock Thrush and Woodchat Shrike are seemingly doing well though declining almost everywhere else. Croatia has breeding Cory's and Yelkouan Shearwaters, Audouin's Gull, Eleonora's Falcon, Lanner and Great Spotted Cuckoo (though the latter two species are rare). Croatia also has good numbers of several species which, though not threatened or endangered, are very tempting to "western" birders, for example, Rock Partridge, Pallid Swift, Black-eared Wheatear (eastern melanoleuca race), Orphean Warbler (crassirostris race), Olive-tree Warbler (which breeds in Central and Southern Dalmatia and on islands where there are oakwoods and old olive-groves) and Black-headed Bunting

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