November 21, 2023 – Oikon successfully completed five monitoring programs for species and habitat types of EU interest. These programs were developed under the OPCC project, titled “Development of Monitoring Systems for Species and Habitat Types,” commissioned by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, and were presented today at the final project conference.
As part of the monitoring system development project, conservation status monitoring programs were developed for 18 groups, with Oikon contributing to five – the highest number among participating companies. Oikon independently worked on monitoring programs for flora and habitat types, small mammals, and the otter, while collaborating with partner companies and institutions for monitoring large animals and freshwater fish.
• Group 2: Development of a monitoring program for terrestrial flora and habitat types with capacity building of stakeholders in the monitoring and reporting system. As part of the project, Oikon developed and tested monitoring programs for a total of 100 terrestrial flora species and habitat types (33 terrestrial flora species and 67 habitat types).
• Group 5: Development of a monitoring program for small mammals with capacity building of stakeholders in the monitoring and reporting system. In this project we established monitoring of the conservation status of four small mammal species of EU interest: the balkan snow vole, the hamster, the wood dormouse, and the dormouse.
• Group 6: Development of a monitoring program for large carnivores with capacity building of stakeholders in the monitoring and reporting system. In this project, together with experts from the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Zagreb, Geonatura and the Karlovac University of Applied Sciences, we established a system for monitoring the conservation status of two large carnivore species of interest to the EU: the wolf and the lynx.
• Group 7: Development of a monitoring program for the otter with capacity building of stakeholders in the monitoring and reporting system, as part of which we tested and refined the existing program for monitoring the conservation status for the otter.
• Group 8: Development of a monitoring program for freshwater fish with capacity building of stakeholders in the monitoring and reporting system. In this project, together with experts from the Faculty of Science (PMF) of the University of Zagreb, Aquatika – Freshwater Aquarium Karlovac, the Croatian Ichthyological Society and DHP Conservation from the Czech Republic, we developed a monitoring program for 48 species of freshwater fish for which the Republic of Croatia is obliged to report to the EU in accordance with Article 17 of the Habitats Directive.
All five projects ended in September 2023, after less than two years of intensive work.
In the three projects where Oikon worked independently (the otter, small mammals, and flora and habitats), we developed monitoring programs for 87% of identified habitat types and 15% of documented species (excluding birds) that Croatia needs to report. Over 350 documents were produced during these initiatives. The field effort encompassed 3,283 flora and habitat locations, 640 otter locations, and 1,800 small mammal observations. In total, 35,000 observations of species at 4,000 localities were entered into the spatial databases. These projects contributed to the development of key elements for monitoring and reporting on the conservation status of species and habitat types. They play a crucial role in meeting the obligations of EU legislation, particularly the Habitats Directive.