Activity calendar Activity calendar-home

From Knin to Trilj, the examination of public attitude about the importance and potential of the Dinara begins!

If you are visited by field examiners with a short questionnaire in the next ten days, don’t worry – LAG “Cetina Krajina” and the Biom association are conducting a field survey about the importance and biodiversity of the Dinara and its potential for the local population.

The research is conducted as part of the “Dinara back to LIFE” project, which aims to preserve the Dinaric grasslands, encourage their sustainable use and provide support to the local population for the development of agricultural and tourist activities in the Dinaric area.

”To live by the Dinara certainly has its privileges and advantages. The whole area is an exceptional nature resource which should be known how to make the most of and to encourage local people to develop the potential that Dinara has. That is why the opinion of the local population is important to us, and through this examination it will be a great help to us in further activities” , says Melani Glavinić from the Biom association.

The survey is completely anonymous and takes only 15 minutes. After, it is followed by data entry and processing. The test results will be published on the project website as well as the local media. The collected data will help guide the project team to direct further project activities and see how the local population perceives the Dinara.

If you have any questions about this research or aquire additional information, you can contact the phone number 021/274 946 or e-mail: The examiners will conduct research the towns of Knin, Sinj, Trilj and Vrlika and the municipalities of Hrvace, Kijevo, Otok and Civljane.


Our comment: Fire on Dinara Mountain

The fires on the Dinara Mountain did not cause catastrophic damage to the entire burned area, because most of the grasslands will be restored after the first rains, but not the habitats which will take decades. Those habitats show that the tradition of uncontrolled burning has no place in modern area management. Management of the Dinara area, which is part of the Natura2000 network of protected areas, is an obligation of the Republic of Croatia and uncontrolled fires will make this management difficult long term.

Photo: Fire on Dinare (from Glavaš)

Photo: Fire on Dinare (from Glavaš)

Last days, numerous media have published articles about the recently extinguished fire on Dinara Mountain. The fires are mostly associated with negative impacts on nature and people, but some of the comments show that there are other opinions. Since the part of our Dinara back to LIFE project is planed controlled burning, it is important to point out what is the difference between controlled burning and fire.

With controlled burning, relatively small areas are burned in a targeted manner depending on their use and the goal we want to achieve, while with fires, large areas are also uncontrol burned for which fire is harmful for several reasons.

The impact of fire on different habitats is significantly different and depends on the current weather conditions and the amount humidity of the fuel mass. The impact of fire on grasslands is minimal, especially in winter; but after a couple of spring rains the traces of the fire will hardly be seen. In fact, fire will destroy much of the species that overgrow grasslands which is useful in the long term management. The largest burned areas on the Dinara are grasslands but it’s important to know that it wasn’t just the grasslands that burned. A curve mountain pine stands, although seemingly only low dense shrubbery, take decades to recover in the harshness of the mountain climate. Beech forests, which are spreading slowly in the karst, and there are very few left on Dinara, take much more than one human life to recover.

Photo: Fire map on Dinara

Photo: Fire map on Dinara

Larger areas of sub-Mediterranean shrubs and low forests were also burned in this fire. Burning is often focused on this type of habitat with aim to restore the grassland, for example for the pasture. It is an old tradition that has remained as a way to “improve” the area even now, when most of the burned areas will not be used for grazing at all because there are not as many cattle as there used to be. Medunaca oak forests, which eventually emerge from these thickets, are almost non-existent in larger areas, as they have disappeared through out thousands of years of livestock, logging and burning. It is only in recent decades that these forests have begun to regenerate and it is our job to help them do so. Of course, we will not turn all grasslands into forests, but we will not prevent the overgrowth of grasslands everywhere. Dinara is the part of the EU Natura2000 network of protected areas and it is clearly defined which species and habitats are important; and in order to preserve them we need various types of grasslands, forests and transitional habitats.

Controlled burning, as a part of area management, is required to respect all area users, all habitats and species living there. Grasslands are burned for maintenance purposes, but great care is taken not to spread the fire to forest habitats, with the exception of one part of the thickets that we want to return to the grasslands. The controlled burning is carried out in accordance with the spatial planning of the area management, and in that spatial planning we take care of both nature and the people who use that space.

Photo: The fire smoke

Dinara has space for all: for pastures of thousands of cattle herds, for all species that live in the grasslands and for restored forests of oak, beech or pine, and many species that live there. It is only important to treat it with expertise, knowledge, experience and great respect for nature resource.

Dnevnik Dinare

Postcard from the roof of Croatia, the future Nature park of Dinara

The Dinara mountain massif is a rich and significant habitat for flora and fauna. Due to its exceptional nature and ecological value, it is the part of the Natura 2000 ecological network which includes areas important for the conservation of endangered species and habitat types of the European Union. More than 87% of the area of future Dinara Nature Park is also the area of the Natura 2000 ecological network. In addition to valuable nature, important habitats for endangered plant and animal species and the internationally recognized phenomenon of Dinaric karst, on the Dinara is the highest peak of Croatia!

This year’s International Day for Biological Diversity with its slogan “Solutions are in nature” speaks in a special way about the importance of working together in harmony with nature and the role of biodiversity in sustainable development. In Croatia, Nature Protection Day is also celebrated on that day, and this year’s celebration was marked by the proclamation of the future twelfth nature park in Croatia – Nature Park “Dinara”.

Back to beginning, last Friday a public presentation od Dinara was held in Knin as part of a public inspection of the Law on the Proclamation of the Dinara Nature Park. The presentation was attended by the Minister of Environmental Protection and Energy Tomislav Ćorić, Šibenik-Knin County Prefect Goran Pauk, Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Blaženko Boban, Knin Mayor Marko Jelić and citizens, representatives of non-governmental organizations and other interested public. It is pointed out that the Law provides protection of 63,052 hectares in the Dinara area, including the Dinara massif (Dinara, Troglav and Kamešnica), the source and upper course of the Cetina River and karst fields (Hrvatačko, Paško and Vrličko) along the Cetina. Upon completion of the public inspection, the consultation and preparation of the law for adoption will follow, and one year after the entry into force of the law, the Dinara Nature Park Public Institution will be established.

“The Dinara Nature Park will be the 12th nature park in the Republic of Croatia and together with eight other national parks, we’ll complete one set of 20 such protected areas. With the proclamation of the Dinara as a nature park, the share of protected areas on Croatian land will increase from 12 percent to 13 percent, and under the European ecological Natura 2000 network, there will be an increase from 36.7 percent to 39 percent of the European Union’s territory. This clearly shows what these 63,000 hectares of newly protected area will mean for the total capacity of protected areas in Croatia and, ultimately, what it will mean for the future of biodiversity in Croatia,” said Minister Ćorić.

The next day, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service organized a field trip to the Dinara and a climb to peak Dinara (1831 m). From the Samar meadow, about fifty experts in nature protection and nature lovers set off on foot towards the recently established mountaineering shelter “Zlatko Prgin”, and after a short break, in a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere, continued to conquer the highest peak of Croatia. Just an hour later, the crowd was bustling at the top, and smiling faces hinted that every step had paid off! The cameras tried to capture all the beautiful corners, and the eyes would like to remember every inch, absorb all the colors, grasp every kilometer in front of them in all directions: the mountains of Dalmatia, Troglav, Cetina and Livanjsko fields as well as Peruča Lake.

From the top, there is a photo which will remain as a memory of all the little people who love and live in Dinara in their own way. Gathering continued with the hosts in the mountain lodge “Brezovac”.

We are especially looking forward to the recognition of Dinara because we are aware of its nature resource. Thus, our project “Dinars back to LIFE” is a great opportunity to preserve the Dinaric grasslands and encourage their sustainable use.

Dinara fed so many families who reciprocated with respect and admiration, was and remained the center of life to hardworking and humble inhabitants. It is up to us to preserve Dinara in the future – starting from ourselves, with valuable projects needed for the whole community and the law – permanently in the honor and privilege of living with the Dinara.

Photo: Aleksandar Gospić

Dnevnik Dinare

A day on the field trip – Dinara, I’m coming back!

So far, I have mostly done various and interesting office work within my sector. After I finally stepped out of my long-lasting comfort zone and got involved in something new, more dynamic and definitely unusual, I knew that new challenges awaited me. As the number of activities was rising, so were the new opportunities. One of them was the first field trip to Mount Dinara in January. Ivan, an expert in botany, had a task to illustrate to us, non-biologists, what to expect from the actual filed trip activities on this project.

Today I have reopened the photo album and, although it has been two months since this field trip, I have decided to type down what I learned so I might inspire some of you about the significance of natural resources.

My first encounter with Dinara was last summer and I completely fell in love with nature and freedom our country offers. Although I have no expert knowledge of the Dinaric flora and fauna, I have pleasant memories, a photo gallery and an emotional travelogue. At the end of 2019 I got lucky and received a tailor-made job package which included writing, creating and implementing. And guess what? It was a part of the project dedicated to Dinara. This is how I took part in the team that wants to bring back life to Dinara.

I set off to my first field trip equipped with hiking boots, a rucksack on my back, some fruit, a sandwich, my diary and my camera. It reminded me of my school trips and weekend picnics. While driving to our starting point above the Bitelić village, Ivan was introducing us to terms such as grasslands, pastures, meadows, habitats, Natura 2000 and transhumance.

I was surprised how the terms were easily understood although I would not be able to explain them well. I kept asking questions and taking notes because you never know when the shining moment might happen.

Somewhere above the little village of Rumin we had our first presentation. I learned about prickly juniper (not that I hadn’t seen it before) and absorbed the first Latin name: Juniperus oxycedrus. I knew that the knowledge of this dead language I had learned in grammar school would pay off some day. Evergreen juniper is the most significant indicator of encroachment, end of traditional ways of maintenance such as livestock farming, grazing or mowing and it presents an early stage of succession into forest. Wow!  ‘Lots of juniper around us, it will keep us busy’, I concluded.

Along the way we were also checking the wells which are used as watering places for animals. We were trying to figure out what else could be of use for local people who make a living from primary activities. What difficulties do they encounter, what makes their life easier? Is Dinara a hard life or full of life? 

We came across a local herdsman who shared his story with us while his three dogs were watching over the herd in the distance. I was trying to figure out how the term ‘treasure’ started to be used instead of livestock. The moment I find out, I will let you know.

At the weekends Marko and I usually go hiking, walking or we have a picnic. But I had never been in the upper part of beautiful Peruča lake! On the shore of Peruča lake is the village of Dabar with barely 30 senior inhabitants. There is Točilo spring, which flows into Peruča, and Tamnica cave (or Tavnica), which was used as a prison at the time of the Ottomans. I was fascinated, Dabar bay looks so unreal!

The Sun was still high on our way to Vrdovo plateau, the last place where traditional farming is preserved. Apart from newly made holiday houses with solar panels, the area is not densely populated. At the very beginning we came across the sign tamo – vamo (there – here) and the gravel path not done by people but mastered by the mighty nature which always surprises us. The path leads to the mountain house St Jakov and we continued to tamo till Ježević, an important habitat of short-toed lark, the endangered bird which nests in this area. The aim of the project is to protect this habitat, to make it suitable again for the endangered species to peacefully live here.

Natura 2000 is the new term I learned. It is an ecological network of EU sites important for the protection of threatened species and habitats.

Do you know that the ecological network Natura 2000 in the Republic of Croatia covers 36.67% of land territory and 16.26% of the territorial sea and internal waters, which is 29.34% of total country surface?

I was learning a lot along the way; about stone-curlew, ortolan bunting, Suhopolje, the methods of grasslands conservation. Ivan is an ornithologist and for each bird we saw he told us its name and main features. I am still not completely aware of amount of opportunities and challenges awaiting!

The field trip was slowly coming to an end. The camera was full of marvellous shots for which I did not realise how important they were for biodiversity. Maybe because I did not understand the biodiversity.

It takes so little to understand the world around us!

There’s an interesting connection between me and nature, if I could say so. During my grammar school I was preparing for biology study (molecular biology, more precisely). With time this love faded away and I fell in love with journalism and media at first sight. What would you like to become when you grow up has always been the most difficult question for me and I have never got the answer. It was neither biology nor journalism. Some new studies and business opportunities occurred. However, ten years later, it seemed like someone-up-there remembered me and put biology and media in the same package, which I’m truly grateful for.

It is incredible how little is needed to comprehend the world around us.

It is priceless when you become aware that you can invest in yourself and no one can take it away from you.

Knowing that you can do it if you try is of great value!

I will write more about Dinara, about other field trips and activities, about the wealth of this beautiful country and its wonderful people who want to keep it like that for the benefit of all generations.

I’m absorbing, learning, searching and writing down. I admire the magic that nature creates and the way it fights for survival. Nature memorizes. It is particularly difficult to describe it well. My conclusion is that nature gives back when we need it.

Activity calendar Activity calendar-home

Dinara back to life project team held its first meating

We are proud and joyful that another LIFE project has officially started in Croatia, for the first time in the Cetina valley. The project was created by the joint effort of Biom association with the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Hrvatske šume d.o.o. and the LAG “Cetinska krajina”.

At the first meeting of project partners, the goal was to gather all members of the project team, present the goals and activities in the first phase of the project and to announce the upcoming activities. Each partner presented their share in the project with an emphasis on the identification of key activities within the project area, which will contribute to the knowledge of biodiversity, but also to encourage the population for sustainable management. The team met with representatives of the City of Vrlika, Mayor Juro Plazonić, his deputy Nikola Uzun and a representative of the Alkar stud farm to identify opportunities for cooperation in the project area for breeding horses.

Except of the work meeting, the team toured part of the project area; meadows near Vrlika, Ježevićko Suhopolje, part of Vrdovo area at the foot of the Mali Maglaj peak and wells through out Gornji Bitelić.

With the aim of encouraging and perseverance biodiversity on Dinara Mountain, we have started the project entitled “Dinara back to LIFE”.

The project consists of conservational activities for restoring grasslands, including manual removal of overgrown vegetation, its removal by planned grazing and controlled burning, as well as additional activities, creating institutional requirements for preserving grasslands and providing support to the local population in developing agricultural and tourist activities basing their value on co-existence with nature.

In the first few months, while habitat analysis and selection of appropriate approach to perseverance of grasslands are underway, the project team plans to visit examples of good practices within Croatia, but also in neighboring countries to improve their future activities.

The total duration of the project is three years and seven months. The activities will be implemented in the area of Knin, Sinj, Trilj, Vrlika and the municipalities of Civljane, Hrvace, Kiev and Otok. It is important to emphasize that the project area is a part of Natura 2000, an ecological network of areas important for the conservation of endangered species and habitat types of the European Union.

Activity calendar Activity calendar-home

Dinara back to LIFE – project for nature conservation and biodiversity of Dinaric pastures

Former grasslands in the Mount Dinara area, used as pastures for livestock since the ancient times, are now mostly unkempt. In order to bring back life and pastures to the Dinara area, the “Dinara back to LIFE” project will restore overgrown grasslands and work on creating institutional requirements for their future sustainable management as well as promote livestock farming as a nature preserving traditional activity.

With the aim of bringing life back to Mount Dinara, we have started the project entitled “Dinara back to LIFE”. The project consists of conservational activities for restoring grasslands, including manual removal of overgrown vegetation, its removal by planned grazing and controlled burning, as well as additional activities, creating institutional requirements for preserving grasslands and providing support to the local population in developing agricultural and tourist activities basing their additional value on co-existence with nature.

Habitats targeted by restoration are dry grasslands, while endangered species in the main focus are bird species dependant on this type of habitat such as the ortolan bunting, greater short-toed lark and stone-curlew. Furthermore, the impact of project activities on orchids, cade juniper, the red-backed shrike, endemic grasshoppers and the activity of bees, as well as on the phenological dynamics, development stage, productivity and dry pasture nutritive value will be monitored.