Flora and fauna
 

Flora

The forests of Plitvice are among the best preserved in Croatia. The main tree varieties are beech (Fagus sylvatica), fir (Abies alba), spruce (Picea excelsa), and scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris). Less frequent varieties are sessile-flowered oak (Quercus petraea), common hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), hop hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia), and sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus). At the lakeside we find hydrophytic varieties, such as alder (Alnus), willow (Salix sp.) and poplar (Populus alba), while Italian maple (Acer obtusatum) is frequently found on the cascades. Venetian sumach bush (Rhus cotinus) prefers warmer rocky terrains. In the park we find an almost untouched primeval forest of fir and beech at an altitude of 860 - 1028 m. The average height of fir and spruce trees is about 40 m, but there are also specimens reaching over 50 m. Fir trees of this height can be up to 160 cm in diameter at about 150 cm from the ground.

Fauna

Plitvice is one of the largest national parks in Croatia. This gives it an important role in protecting and preserving the animal world. Though Plitvice is much smaller in size than some African or American national parks, it is nevertheless important in European terms. The most interesting animals in the National Park are the bear and the wolf. Efforts are now being made to protect this attractive inhabitant of Plitvice wherever it moves. The wolf is also becoming a rare animal in Croatia, and Plitvice is its important refuge. An even rarer animal in these parts is the otter, a protected species, which has Plitvice as one of its habitats.In the National Park also a total of 126 bird species have been recorded , of which some 70 are regular nesting species.

 
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