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The Ornithological Value of the Pantan: Status and Perspectives of Coastal Wetlands Management in Croatia

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Abstract:

We investigated avian use of the Pantan habitats, a Mediterranean wetland on the Croatian coast of the Adriatic Sea, by comparing censuses from two periods. The Pantan was surveyed for breeding, resident, wintering, and passage birds in the periods from 1968-1972 and 1986-1991. Species richness declined from 67 to 54. Wintering/passage bird species was the most important group of birds but they also declined from 55 in the period 1968-1972 to 42 in the period 1986-1991. The value of the Pantan coastal area to birds was determined by 25 threatened species and 15 "Species of European Special Concern"(SPEC; Tucker & Heath, 1994). The Pantan wetland ecosystem has a floristical, ornithological, and aesthetic value at both the regional and international levels. The wetland ecosystem has been destroyed in part by the construction of artificial fishponds and by the regulation of the water course, and it is threatened by the dumping of garbage and rubble, the sedimentation of lead and nitrogen compounds, and the planned construction of housing and a slaughterhouse. There are impacts from fishing and bunting on waterbirds. The degradation of wetlands is reflected in the reduction of the frequency and/or abundance of 87% of the bird species. We discuss the socioeconomic context for conservation management and sustainable development of coastal wetlands in Croatia. Management measures for conservation of the wetland as a whole are suggested.

Keywords: COASTAL WETLAND EVALUATION MANAGEMENT FOR CONSERVATION ORNITHOFAUNA THREATS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/089207599263929

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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