Adria priority species | WWF

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ADRIA PRIORITY SPECIES

© Mario Romulic

The Adria region is a special part of the world – a biodiversity hotspot. We want to keep wildlife thriving.

WILDLIFE IN ADRIA

Adria hosts diverse and iconic wildlife in a variety of habitats: the sea, where dolphins swim; rivers, home to the sturgeon – the most endangered species group on Earth; forests where lynx, wolf, and brown bear roam; cliffs and peaks, where white-tailed eagles and griffon vultures glide; and deep underground, in the heart of our Karst ecosystem, where “baby dragons" – the olms – dwell.

It is a home for all, humans and wildlife. We are working to keep it that way.

Adria's most iconic species – the brown bear, the grey wolf, and the Eurasian lynx – need space. They roam over hundreds of thousands of square kilometers. They do not recognise the borders that humans have drawn across the 10 countries in this region, and they are extremely vulnerable to habitat destruction and fragmentation caused by increasing development.

Did you know?

The lynx is solitary, elusive and nocturnal and therefore rarely seen by humans.

© Marko Matešić

LYNX

Just as the lion symbolizes Africa, the tufted-eared lynx is a precious symbol of Adria’s natural heritage. This beautiful and elusive wild cat is protected by law, but destruction of the lynx’s habitat remains a cause for concern in many areas.

The Eurasian lynx has bounced back from the brink of extinction but the population remains small. Hope for the lynx’s recovery lies in enriching genetic material by reintroducing new individuals.

The Eurasian lynx is found throughout Europe; in Adria there are less than 200 individuals, of which around 40 are the Balkan lynx, the only surviving group of this Eurasian lynx subspecies. The lynx is of great importance since it positively affects the overall ecosystem in the Adria region. Help us to help them survive!

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Female bears can carry babies from different fathers. Scientists think this may be a way for females to protect their young ones from males which can be aggressive towards cubs.

© Marko Matesic

bear

Bears  – the kings of Europe’s forests, and one of the world's largest carnivores. We admire and fear them for their size, strength, speed and intelligence. But although they are big and strong, these solitary animals are also vulnerable to human expansion into their natural habitat.  We work to find solutions which ensure bear and human safety and promote peaceful coexistence such as safe passages for wildlife (green corridors) or electric fences to protect livestock and crops.

Bears are omnivores but the majority of their food is plant-based. Nevertheless they are hungry opportunists and they target the food that people discard. To avoid this, “bear-safe” garbage bins help to keep bears away from human settlements.

Adria is home to a stable population of 3,950 bears of the Dinaric-Pindos population, the second largest population in Europe. Let’s keep it that way.

The wolf is an ancestor of the domestic dog but instead of barking, it howls.

© Marko Matesic

WOLF

Once the world's most widely distributed mammal, the grey wolf has become extinct across large areas of its former range and its present distribution is much restricted. By the 1970s, the wolf was only present in parts of southern and north-eastern Europe.

Wolves have always been present in Adria, but for many centuries they have been trapped, shot and poisoned, with people fearing the danger they pose to cattle and sheep. Like bears, wolves are very vulnerable and the biggest threat to their survival is from humans.

There are many fairy-tales about wolves but how much do we really know about them?

Wolves pair for life and prefer to travel in family packs. When young wolves decide to find a partner to build a family of their own, they can travel hundreds of kilometers, through mountains, highways, rivers, and borders.

Read about the incredible journey of Slavc, the wolf who travelled 200km from Adria to Italy to find his mate.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

We're helping to safeguard our most cherished wildlife but we can't do it alone: our many successes are only possible thanks to your generosity. Support us today!

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In Kornati National Park, Croatia, there are over 60 different species of corals

© Kornati NP

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