Below you can find a complete list of Croatian animals. We currently track 139 animals in Croatia and are adding more every day!
Croatia is a small U-shaped country that sits at the crossroads of central and southeastern Europe. It shares a border with Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croatia also sits directly adjacent to Italy across the Adriatic Sea. Most of the country is comprised of lowland territory, including the Pannonian plains in the north and the Adriatic Basin in the south along the coast. These two regions are cut in half by the central mountain range, the Dinaric Alps, which include the highest point in the entire country, Dinara, at 6,000 feet. It is estimated that Croatia contains some 50,000 to 100,000 species of both plants and animals, some of them completely unique to the country. Wolves, bears, foxes, wild boars, weasels, and wild cats inhabit the inland forests and plains. Reptiles and marine life can be found near the coast. Wild goats can be found at higher elevations as well.
The Official National (State) Animal of Croatia
The marten (a member of the weasel family) is the official national animal of Croatia.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Croatia
Croatia is home to more than 400 protected areas, including eight national parks, two reserves, and 11 nature parks. They encompass around 9% of all Croatian land.
- Plitvice Lakes National Park, located near the center of the country near the Bosnian border, is renowned for its extraordinary beauty as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Viewers can sometimes catch glimpses of European brown bears, lynxes, wild cats, wolves, eagles, owls, the capercaillie, and many other types of wildlife. Croatian butterflies and birds are particularly common here.
- The Paklenica National Park is a river canyon near the Adriatic coast. It contains more than 200 species of birds, including the golden eagle, short-toed eagle, peregrine falcon, and goshawk. Butterflies and other insects are also plentiful.
- Risnjak National Park is located in Gorski Kotar and surrounded by heavy mountains and forests. The lynx appears to be the main attraction. Although once exterminated, this cat was later reintroduced into Slovenia and later spread here. Visitors can also find deer, bears, wild boar, martens, badgers, weasels, chamois, woodpeckers, and many birds of prey.
- Located on a small island chain right off the coast, the Brijuni Islands National Park is a good place to find deer, hares, nesting birds, and marine wildlife. There is also a safari park nearby that contains some exotic animals from Asia and Africa.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Croatia Today
Croatia contains several species of venomous snakes and spiders.
- Horned Viper – This species can be found in rocky hillsides all across the country. As one of the most dangerous snakes in all of Europe, the horned viper can deliver a powerful toxin that may lead to pain, swelling, and discoloration.
- Common European Viper – Although it does not have the most potent poison, this viper is quite common all over Europe and so it’s responsible for the most bites. In Croatia, it can be found in river lowlands, plains, and mountains. Symptoms of its bite can include pain, swelling, tingling, and blisters. Cardiovascular failure may occur in a very small number of cases.
- Meadow Viper – This species can be found in grasslands and meadows at higher elevations. Because of its rarity and the relatively low potency of its toxin, the meadow viper doesn’t pose as much of a danger as other species of vipers, but bite victims should always seek immediate medical attention.
- Black Widow Spider – The bite of the European black widow can be quite painful and annoying. In uncommon cases, it can cause muscle spasms, cramping, and an increased heart rate, but death from its bite is exceptionally rare.
Endangered Animals in Croatia
While Croatia has a long list of protected species, several animals are currently endangered or at some risk of becoming extinct.
- Mediterranean Monk Seal – This seal was once a fairly common sight around the Croatian coast, but overhunting, pollution, and coastal development have made it endangered. It is estimated that less than 600 or 700 individuals are scattered across the entire Mediterranean Sea.
- Olm – This unique snake-like aquatic salamander dwells exclusively in the caves of the Dinaric Alps. Unlike many other amphibians, the olm spends nearly its entire life underwater. As a result of its very particular environmental requirements, this salamander is highly sensitive to pollution. As numbers fall, it is in danger of becoming extinct in Croatia.
- Eurasian Lynx – A unique subspecies of the common Eurasian lynx that became extinct from Croatia in the early 20th century due to habitat destruction and illegal poaching. In the 1970s, it was reintroduced to Slovenia and then spread to Croatia from there. A few hundred now remain in the entire Dinaric Alps region.
- Eurasian Wolf – This subspecies of the gray wolf almost completely disappeared from the region in the 19th and early 20th centuries. But after being reintroduced in the 1990s, the wolf has rebounded slightly in the north of the country.
- Dalmatian Turtle – This subspecies of Hermann’s tortoise is native to the Adriatic coast on the Balkan side. It is endangered by habitat loss, pollution, and poaching.
- Eurasian Beaver – By the turn of the 20th century, the beaver was nearly hunted to extinction for its fur and oil. As numbers rebound, it’s becoming more common across Croatia and the rest of Europe.
Croatian Animals List
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Brown Bear
- Camel Cricket
- Common Buzzard
- Common Frog
- Common Loon
- Common Raven
- Common Toad
- Crab Spider
- Edible Frog
- Fire-Bellied Toad
- Fire salamander
- Flying Squirrel
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Highland Cattle
- Honey Bee
- Long-Eared Owl
- Marsh Frog
- No See Ums
- Peregrine Falcon
- Pike Fish
- Pond Skater
- Pool Frog
- Purple Emperor Butterfly
- Puss Moth
- Raccoon Dog
- River Turtle
- Sand Lizard
- Skink Lizard
- Slow Worm
- Snowy Owl
- Spadefoot Toad
- Stag Beetle
- Stick Insect
- Tawny Owl
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Water Vole
- Wild Boar
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Croatia FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What dangerous animals live in Croatia?
Croatia is home to several species of venomous snakes, spiders, and scorpions.
What is the most dangerous animal in Croatia?
The most dangerous wildlife in all of Croatia might be the horned viper.
What sharks are in Croatia?
The Adriatic Sea contains some 20 to 30 species of sharks, including the blue shark, the shortfin mako shark, the angel shark, and the basking shark. Several reports also indicate that the great white shark may sometimes appear around the waters of Croatia.