Anthropogenic influence on land macrofauna with focus on protected taxa in the Republic of Croatia

Over the last twenty years, great changes have occurred in the habitats of land fauna in Croatia. The most important are the road networks, especially the highways, which fragment the habitats and make migration difficult, but also directly affect the land fauna mortality by traffic, landfills that are almost regularly visited by certain species and find additional food sources there, wind farms, accumulations, retentions, etc. The aforementioned anthropogenic activities directly affect the number of individual populations of land macro fauna of aboveground and underground habitats.

The project’s hypothesis is that most of the aforementioned anthropogenic activities have a negative impact on the populations of land macrofauna in Croatia, and in particular on protected taxa. The main questions the project wants answers for are:

1) what the impact of road networks is on the reduction of potential migration of land macrofauna and an assessment of this impact on the stability of their populations. This primarily refers to herpetofauna, ornithofauna, and medium and large mammal fauna, especially large carnivores with vast movement areas,

2) the impact of landfills on the number of populations and the frequency of pathological events in certain taxonomic groups of land macrofauna with  focus on protected taxa,

3) the impact of wind farms on ornithofauna mortality, bat fauna, all of which are under a certain degree of protection, and the impact on large carnivores that very often have lairs in such areas.

The general purpose of the proposed research is to preserve stable populations of land macrofauna in Croatia, and therefore generally the present, high degree of biological diversity.

Maintaining these populations stable is important for ecological, economic and ethical reasons, and it is also a duty to respect the international conventions and other acts of which Croatia is a signatory. The results of this project will provide a baseline for other faunistic research as the basis for development of a quality sustainable development program.

Within this program, the following projects were implemented:

  1. 2015 – 2016 – Monitoring of motorway permeability for wildlife, Croatian Motorways Ltd.
  2. 2014 – 2015 – Monitoring of motorway permeability for wildlife, Croatian Motorways Ltd.
  3. 2014 – 2015 – Monitoring the frequency of passage of wild animals under the Rašćane viaduct, HAC ONC Ltd.
  4. 2013 – 2015 – Research and monitoring of wolves in the Biokovo Nature Park, Biokovo Nature Park
  5. 2013 – 2014 – Monitoring of motorway permeability for wildlife, Croatian Motorways Ltd.
  6. 2012 – Environmental Impact Assessment Study for Wind Farm Fužine, Promodo Ltd.
  7. 2011 – 2016 – Monitoring the impact of landfills on the population of jackals (Canis aureus) in the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park, Lonjsko polje Nature Park
  8. 2009 – 2010 – Monitoring of protected wildlife on the Dravski ritovi area, motorway Beli Manastir – Osijek – Svilaj – Ploče, section Beli Manastir – Osijek, Croatian Motorways Ltd.
  9. 2009 – Monitoring of water, air, noise, fauna, forest ecosystems and soil along Croatian motorways, Croatian Motorways Ltd.
  10. 2008 – 2011 – Monitoring of wildlife overpasses and other passages of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th part of the gas pipeline system of Lika and Dalmatia, Plinacro Ltd.
  11. 2008 – 2009 – Monitoring of wildlife overpasses on the motorway Zagreb – Split – Dubrovnik, section Bosiljevo – Šestanovac, Croatian Motorways Ltd.
  12. 2008 – 2009 – Monitoring of beaver in Žutica forest close to Ivanić Grad, City of Ivanic Grad (expert team member)
  13. 2008 – 2009 – Identification and proposal of measures to reduce anthropogenic impact on the population of terrestrial carnivores in Croatia, Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund.

Scientific and professional articles published within this program:

  1. Huber Đ, Gužvica G (2011) Recent brown bear biology as a tool to study the cave bear. In: Toškan B. ed. Fragments of Ice Age environments: Proceedings in honour of Ivan Turk’s jubilee. Ljubljana: Inštitut za arheologijo ZRC SAZU, Založba ZRC, (Opera Instituti Archaeologici Sloveniae 21), 139-155.
  2. Gomerčić T., Gužvica G., Đuras-Gomerčić M., Frković A., Pavlović D., Kusak J., Sindičić M., Huber Đ. (2009): Variation in teeth number, teeth and skull disorders in Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx from Croatia.- Folia Zool. 58(1): 57-65.
  3. Gužvica G, Bošnjak I, Bielen A, Babić D, Radanović-Gužvica B, Šver L (2014) Comparative Analysis of Three Different Methods for Monitoring the Use of Green Bridges by Wildlife. PLoS ONE 9(8): e106194. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106194
  4. Jelaska S.D., Nikolić T., Šerić-Jelaska L., Kušan V., Peternel H., Gužvica G., Major Z.(2010): Biodiversity Analyses in Dalmatia (Croatia): A Complementary Approach Using Diversity and Rarity.- Environmental Management.
  5. Kusak, J., Huber, Đ., Gomerčić, T., Schwaderer, G., Gužvica, G. (2009): The permeability of highway in Gorski kotar (Croatia) for large mammals.- Eur J Wildl Res (2009) 55: 7-21.
  6. Šver, L., Bielen, A., Križan, J., Gužvica, G. (2016): Camera Traps on Wildlife Crossing Structures as a Tool in Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) Management – Five- Years Monitoring of Wolf Abundance Trends in Croatia. PLoS ONE. 11(6): doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156748
  7. Antonić O, Kušan V, Gužvica G, Mesić Z, Mazija M (2011) Teledetekcija i geoinformatika u inventarizaciji biodiverziteta. Zaštita prirode u XXI vijeku – Zbornik referata, rezimea referata i poster prezentacija. Bulić Z (ur.). Sep 20-23, Žabljak, Montenegro. 901-901.
  8. Gužvica G., Bošnjak I, Bielen A., Babić D., Radanović-Gužvica B., Šver L. (2015) Analysis of methods for wildlife monitoring on green bridges. Book of Abstracts. 12th Croatian Biological Congress with International Participation. Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia, September 18 – 23, 2015. p 144. [Gužvica, G., poster]
  9. Gužvica G, Gabrić I., Protrka K., Grgurić Z., Šver L. (2015) The research of wolves in the Nature Park Biokovo – preliminary results. Book of Abstracts. 12th Croatian Biological Congress with International Participation. Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia, September 18 – 23, 2015. p 145. [Gužvica, G., poster]
  10. Gužvica G, Šver L (2012) Praćenje negativnog utjecaja izgradnje plinovodnog sustava na funkcionalnost zelenih mostova u Hrvatskoj / Monitoring of the negative impact of the gas pipeline construction on the functionality of green bridges in Croatia. Knjiga sažetaka, 11. Hrvatski biološki kongres, Šibenik, Hrvatska, 16. – 21. 9. 2012. p. 214.
  11. Gužvica G, Tomaić J, Šver L (2012) Prvi rezultati istraživanja prisutnosti risa na području sjevernog Velebita metodom digitalnih fotozamki / The first results of lynx presence in the area of the northern Velebit using digital camera traps. Knjiga sažetaka, 11. Hrvatski biološki kongres Šibenik, Hrvatska, 16. – 21. rujna 2012., 106-107.

Oikon d.o.o.

Oikon d.o.o.