Monday, 3 March 2008

Destinations: Paklenica - Croatia

The Paklenica National Park is part of the larger Velebit Mountain range. The park lies in Dalmatia about 2 hours north of Split by road and begins at almost sea-level and rises up into sub-Alpine habitat. The centre-piece of this rugged karst area is the gorge of Velika Paklenica near the village of Starigrad. This gorge is a scenic place to bird, but prepare for some uphill walking and often the company of rock-climbers and on weekends parties of day-trippers. The Paklenica area as a whole is an excellent place to look for Rock Partridge, almost any rocky hillside is worth a try, and at any time of year. Other birds include Scops and Eagle Owls, Peregrine, Short-toed Eagle, Rock Nuthatch, Blue Rock Thrush, Black-eared Wheatear, Alpine Swift, Crag Martin and Eastern Orphean Warbler. Besides birds a rich range of butterflies occurs in summer and the dry limestone landscapes are ideal for reptiles such as Hermann's Tortoise, Dalmatian Algyroides, Balkan Green Lizard, Dalmatian Wall Lizard and many others.

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