The animal world is nowadays becoming increasingly endangered. Environmental pollution, industrialization, deforestation, road construction, hunting… these are all causes for the decline of animals' population and their extinction. Fortunately, environmental awareness is developing and many steps are being taken to protect endangered species. Croatia is also known for its national parks (Risnjak, North Velebit, Kornati…) and nature parks (Kopački rit, Papuk, Lonjsko polje…), where the number of endangered species’ population is growing day by day.. The list of the most famous protected animals in Croatia includes the Mediterranean Monk Seal, as one of the most endangered mammals in the world, protected since the beginning of the 20th century. Furthermore, the griffon vulture is a bird of prey from the family of hawks, which today lives in Croatia only in the area of islands Krk, Prvić and Cres. It is protected by law and an ecological research centre was established on the island of Cres with the aim of preserving it. The next animal is the noble pen shell, the largest shellfish in the Adriatic Sea, but also one of the largest shellfish in the world. It is extremely sensitive to pollution, and is also suffering from anchoring of ships and illegal removal from the sea. The Croatian gecko is the next endangered species. It is a small lizard that lives especially on the island of Lošinj. He often enters home and ends tragically because people are afraid of him. Therefore, the number of this species is declining and needs to be protected. The most popular and most social marine mammal, the dolphin, is no longer so common in the Adriatic Sea. Namely, the only truly established population in the Adriatic is located around the islands of Cres and Lošinj, and in order to study and protect it as closely as possible, a scientific project called “Adriatic Dolphin Project” was established. Last but not least are the wolf and the lynx, animals protected by law since 1995. Today, their numbers are drastically reduced, mainly due to poor habitat conditions, various diseases and forbidden hunting. Wolves in Croatia inhabit the area of Gorski Kotar, Lika and Dalmatia. It is similar to the lynx, which can be found today in Gorski Kotar and Velebit, and one of the most famous Croatian national parks - Risnjak - is named after it.
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