Nature park Papuk

One of the jewels of continental nature, the Papuk mountain, stretches along the northern side of the Požega valley in Eastern Slavonia. While once its peaks rose like islands in the vast Pannonian Sea, today they stretch to almost 1000 meters above sea level. It covers an area of ​​336 square kilometers (33,600 hectares). Papuk Nature Park covers the largest part of Papuk Mountain and partly Krndija Mountain in its southeastern part. It covers the area of ​​two counties, Požega-Slavonia and Virovitica-Podravina. At its foot is the center of Požega-Slavonia County, Požega.

Despite the relatively low height of the mountains, the plains of Slavonia generally do not exceed 100 meters, they seem almost gigantic and it is impossible not to notice them. Mostly covered with forests are significantly different from the surrounding area covered with fields and plains. In the area of ​​the park there are well-preserved original forests, and especially valuable are the centuries-old forests of pannonian beech and medunca oak. They are the habitat of deer, roe deer, wild boar, foxes, martens and almost all other representatives of Central European fauna. Despite the smaller area covered by moist grasslands, endangered plant species grow on them - the pine cone and the marsh bluegrass. A very endangered and strictly protected butterfly also depends on the pneumonia. The life of that butterfly is especially interesting. He lays his eggs on the plant, and when the caterpillar hatches, it attracts the ants that live there. They then, thinking that it is their larva, take the caterpillar to their anthill and take care of it for the next almost eight months.

There are also areas of additional protection within the nature park. The geological monument of nature Rupnica is certainly one of the most interesting. The natural mosaic of rocks in the form of huge stone pillars arranged like stairs are a unique phenomenon in the world and as such of special significance. Along with Rupnica, the ancient town of Ružica also stands out. It spreads over as much as 8000 square meters. Special forest vegetation reserve Sekulinačke planine, natural monument Dva hrasta, natural monument Habitat of yew, special floristic reserve Pliš-Mališčak-Turjak-Lapjak are also places of special protection.

In 2007, becoming a member of the European Geoparks Network (EGN) and the World Geoparks Network (GGN), Papuk as such became the first and only geopark in Croatia.

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