Plitvice lakes – General geo info

The Plitvice lakes started being a National park at April 8th, 1949. It is the biggest, the oldest and the most visited national park in Croatia. It is placed in central area of Croatia called Ličko-senjska županija.

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Plitvice are complex of 16 lakes of different sizes, placed in mountain area covered with wood. Lakes get their water from numerous rivers and streams and are connected by cascades and waterfalls. One of the fundamental peculiarities of the Park are „serdrene barijere“. Sedimentary rock „sedra“ is a geological phenomenon that emerges from water precipitated with calcium carbonate with the help of moss. In 1979 Plitvice lakes were one of the first places in the world declared by UNESCO as a world heritage. The total area of Plitvice is 29 685 hectares, of which the lakes cover 200 hectares, the forest 13 1320 hectares and the rest are grasslands. The average altitude is 600m. There are few stories how Plitvice got it’s name. One of the stories say that Plitvice got it’s name by the river called „Plitvica“ which ends in the lower lakes. The village Etno garden is placed in the village called „Plitvica selo“ – „Plitvica“-by the river, and „selo“- croatian term for „village“.

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Average amount of rain is 1500mm. The biggest amount of rain usually falls at spring and fall. In January average temperature is 2,2 C. The snow usually falls from November until March. The lakes are usually frozen in December and January.

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In the area of the Park there is a large area of very high quality forests, including the forests, which represent the best habitat for the animal world.  Numerous types of shrubs and forest owls show high quality and natural habitat. As many as 1267 different plant species are registered in the Park, of which up to 50 species of orchids. Forests are a habitat for a number of wildlife. The layer of leaves is one of the richest microenterprises for the world-wide animal world. It’s the home of lizards, insects, various mushrooms and bacteria. Interesting is the endemic bug Molops plitvicensis, which lives in the forested forests only in Plitvice. There are 321 species of butterflies registered in the Park, 157 species of birds and 20 species of bats.

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The Plitvice Lakes forests are the habitat of three large European meadows: brown bear, wolf and lynx.

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