ZAGREB, 23 Oct (Hina) – A €2.1 million project for the conservation of the river turtle (Mauremys rivulata) in southern Croatia has been launched, Zagreb Zoo announced on Friday.
Sixty per cent of the project’s value is covered by the EU through the LIFE programme, while €267,700 is contributed by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund.
The purpose of the project, called “LIFE for Mauremys”, is to preserve the river turtle in the Natura 2000 areas of southern Croatia. It will be implemented until October 2026.
The river turtle is one of the most endangered reptiles in this part of Europe. In Croatia, its distribution is limited to the south of the country, where four isolated river turtle populations live, representing the northwestern edge of the species’ range.
Although the river turtle inhabits a wide range of freshwater habitats, recent research has found a drastic decline in the number of its populations since the 1980s.
The project aims to improve the quality of the river turtle’s habitats in the Neretva delta, Gornji Majkovi, Prljevići village, the Konavosko Polje field and the Stonsko Polje field in the southeastern part of the Peljeљac peninsula.