Project BBio - Sustainable development of border areas through conservation of indigenous breeds and the establishment of gene-centers in Buhovo and Biokovo.

Preservation of Mediterranean dry grasslands (calcareous pastures and grasslands) in the area of Biokovo Nature Park

 

Preservation of Mediterranean dry grasslands (calcareous pastures and grasslands) in the area of Biokovo Nature Park

 

Biokovo Nature Park Public Institutions do not have accurate information on the level of degradation of Mediterranean dry pastures (karsts pastures and grasslands) nor the guidelines for preservation due to their specific biological diversity which categorised them in Natura 2000 areas of European Ecological Network.

It is estimated that the coverage with natural pastures was reduced from 83% to only 30% since 1927. Within the project a contract was awarded to the Faculty of Forestry in Zagreb whose Department for Forest Genetics, Dendrology and Botanic carried out extensive research i.e. gave an estimate of the current condition of Mediterranean dry pastures at the Biokovo Nature Park (approximately 196 km2) during 2014. Results of the research are available in the Study of the existing condition with the identification of biological diversity of Mediterranean dry grasslands at the Biokovo Nature Park. 

Based on the detailed research of flora and vegetation at the abandoned Sridvice pasture, initiated within the scope of the BBio project, the foundations were set for the “pilot project” of restoration and monitoring of neglected Sridvice pasture which is located at the north-western section of the Biokovo Nature Park (N 43,401072°; E 16,918568°). With this research it was established that the old Sridvice pasture is currently in advanced stages of succession which we can mostly group into Paliuretum adriaticum (Rhamno intermediate-Paliurion), namely stage with the domination of Juniper tree (Juniperus oxycedrus). 

Within the scope of the BBio project a rehabilitation of the neglected Sridvice pasture by a combination of mechanical removal of woody species and by intensifying cattle grazing is currently ongoing. In the area of 1,000 m2, woody species were removed and a pen was placed for housing of autochthonous breeds which will on occasion spend time there. Optimal number of cattle will be established which will bring the pasture into the moderate grazing intensity mode. To prevent excessive utilization of the habitat (degradation) when establishing optimal intensity and grazing method, the following general criteria will be taken into consideration – entire area of the soil should be covered by vegetation i.e. the surface of bare soil should be negligible, damage to the surface of the soil should be negligible: one quarter of economically more important pasture species should have ear with grain; around 50% of primary annual pasture production should be left unused. All measures proposed within the scope of the project are in line with the general measures for preservation of endangered and rare habitat types of the Republic of Croatia which are proscribed by the Ordinance on Amendments to the Ordinance on Habitat Types Species, Habitat Map, Endangered and Rare Habitat Types and on Measures for Preservation of Habitat Types (Official gazette of the Republic of Croatia “Narodne novine” no. 119/2009). Prescribed measures pertain to the habitat type C.3.5. submediterranean and epimediterranean dry grasslands. 

Considering that the survival of rocky pastures in the Biokovo area is markedly dependent on the means of use and management, because in the end such habitats came to be and were formed due the actions by the man and cattle, BBio project set the foundations for the lease of the pastures by the breeders whose cattle grazes on the slopes of Biokovo which have multiple beneficial effects for preservation of biological diversity of the pastures and for agricultural and biological diversity i.e. breeds specific for this mountain.

 

 

The project team advise and support: