Hutovo Blato Nature Park
- Bosnia and Herzegovina -
Photo: © Elma Avdagic / freeimages
Hutovo Blato Nature Park was designated as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Site) under the Ramsar Convention on 24 September 2001.
Hutovo Blato encompasses wetland, lakes and rivers that provide good conditions for survival of numerous species living in wetlands, and ensure permanent habitats for numerous endangered species. This area is a significant nesting site for the migratory birds on their way from northern and central Europe towards Africa, which use this area to rest, feed and satisfy other needs. The birds use this area during the periods of migration, but also for wintering or permanently, as a habitat for some endangered species. The Hutovo Blato Nature Park was established in 1995. A total 2,050 ha is under strict and active protection, and about 5,750 ha is under an active development regime. Hutovo Blato has been recognized as a wetland of international importance and entered on the Ramsar List on 24 September 2001. Generally, this area is valuable for preservation of an overall landscape and biological diversity of Europe, particularly because of:
- its importance for migrations and survival of numerous bird species,
- diversity of its vegetation, which is unique because of the vicinity of the Adriatic Sea and abundance of water surrounded by karst mountain land,
- its specific geomorphological and hydromorphological characteristics, since it is, together with the Neretva Delta, a rare remnant of a wetland in the Mediterranean, and a rare remnant of a wetland in karst.
Within the IBA, two wetland-dependent threatened bird species have been recognized which regularly appear in Hutovo Blato in significant numbers. These are Aythya nyroca (ferruginous duck) and Phalacrocorax pygmeus (pygmy cormorant).
Some examples of key services are water purification and retention, erosion control and reduced flooding; the site plays an important role in climate change adaptation and contributes to mitigation through the storage and sequestration of carbon. Hutovo Blato is also a vital habitat for migratory birds, fish, and mammals, and their loss impacts recreation and biodiversity.
The Ramsar Site does not have important social and cultural aspects.
The protected area has facilities for visitors (administration building, info-point, facilities for birdwatching, bike path, educational walking trail, motel) and developed tourist offers (photo safari with boats, cycling, fishing).
Tourist activities, education, recreation, sports activities, etc., are carried out in the area in accordance with the management plan and the prescribed protection measures.
The area has been protected since 1995, and since then all measures for the protection and conservation of habitats and plant and animal species have been implemented.
The main management challenges are:
- Insufficient support from state institutions
- Lack of funding
- Water regime problems due to the operation of hydropower plants
- Local community
The Ramsar Site has a Management Plan and Physical Plan for the period 2013-2023. Both of them are approved.
Latest updates of these informations: Mars 2020