Category: Nationally designated areas Country: Croatia

Lastovsko otocje

Lat: 42.74371 Lng: 16.61133
Lastovsko otocje
The Lastovo archipelago Nature Park (Park prirode Lastovsko otočje) was established in 2006 and spans a total area of 196 km². Comprising 46 islands, islets, and cliffs along a rugged coastline, it consists of 53 km² of land and 143 km² of marine surface. The park boasts well-preserved natural features in hydrography, pedology, flora, fauna, and impressive geomorphological and geological relief characteristics.

Geologically, the Lastovo Archipelago is constructed from Jurassic and Cretaceous deposits, predominantly forming dolomites, dolomitic limestone, and pure limestone. The highest peak on Lastovo is Hum (417 m), offering panoramic views of the island's diverse relief, including rounded hills, deep bays, and fields, as well as an expansive sea view.

The richness of the underwater world around the archipelago is evidenced by 248 marine plant species, a number comparable to much larger areas in the central and southern Adriatic. The influx of nutrients from the deep Adriatic during seasonal periods greatly influences the proliferation of marine life in this region.

The rocky sea floor is covered with photophilic algae, while the shallow coastal areas are adorned with endangered and protected meadows of the sea flower Posidonia oceanica. This species serves as a crucial breeding and sheltering ground for various marine life. A hidden bay is one of the rare habitats for the green algae Caulerpa prolifera, the only autochthonous Caulerpa in the Adriatic.

Thanks to the abundance and diversity of zooplankton, the underwater realm of the park is rich in corals, sponges, mollusks, sea urchins, crabs, and many other species, forming a robust and interconnected marine food chain. Currently, 330 species of vertebrates have been recorded, with 20 listed as endangered.
In the intertidal zone, various marine snails (nudibranchs) and leeches thrive, accompanied by sea urchins, octopuses, and cuttlefish.
Distinctive features of the Lastovo Archipelago's rocky seabed are colonies of gorgonians, sponges, and crustaceans. Fish species characteristic of this area include scorpionfish, sea bass, dentex, John Dory, stonefish, dusky grouper, comber, moray eel, and occasionally tuna, groupers, and rays.
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