Out of the total number of plants identified in the Krka National Park, there are 591 species and subspecies in the Promina area, classified in 87 families of wild ferns and seedlings. The largest number of plants was recorded at rocky grasslands and pastures (299) and along the edges of paths and roads (187).
There are 18 endemic plants in the Promina area. 16 of them belong to the group of Illyrian-Adriatic endemic species which can be found on the Croatian coast, and 2 of them belong to the group of Illyrian-Apennine endemic species which can be found in the parts of the Apennine Peninsula, as well as on the coast. There are 9 endangered plants: one critically endangered (Alopecurus bulbosus – bulbous foxtail), two endangered, four sensitive and two data deficient.
There are 17 non-native species in the area of Promina that were either brought to Croatia or intentionally bred from where they were spread to nature, such as acacia, while others, such as ailanthus, appeared unintentionally.
There are 18 species of fungi in the municipality. Five of them are new in the biodiversity of Croatia, whereas two, Pachyella violaceonigra (otherwise known as Mindnight Disco) and Verpa conica (Thimble Morel) are endangered and belong to the sensitive species category.
The first systematic study of lichens (symbiotic communities of algae and fungi) in the Krka National Park was conducted in 2011. There were 61 species recorded and 43 of them (70.49%) were found in the municipality of Promina.
In zoogeographical terms, the Krka river basin belongs to the southern European (Mediterranean) area, an area north of the Neretva river which, due to the peculiar position and mosaic arrangement of different habitats, is characterized by extremely rich and diverse fauna, with numerous endemic, rare and endangered species. The animals are a part of the Mediterranean fauna typical of the eastern Mediterranean, but, due to microclimatic conditions, even some continental species can be found in the humid valleys.
In the Promina area, there is a record of 24 species belonging to the fauna of earwigs, mantises and flatworms: one earwig, three mantises, seven crickets and thirteen locusts.
The order of dragonflies in the Promina area includes 35 species, coming from 20 genera and 9 families, which leads to 92.10% of the total dragonfly fauna of the Krka National Park. Of the 35 species of dragonflies, two are endangered: the small red damselfly which belongs to the vulnerable species (VU) category and the Eastern willow spreadwing which belongs to the data deficient species (DD) category.
There are 51 species of butterflies from five families in the Promina area. Two of the most common species from the swallowtail family (Papilionidae) in the fauna of Croatia have been caught: common yellow swallowtail, a protected species, and scarce swallowtail. According to some sources, they belong to the most beautiful European butterflies.
The Krka river is a home to 31 species of fish, 20.7% of the total number of fish recorded in Croatia. In Promina region, there are 18 species of fish from eight families, i.e. 58.06% of the total ichthyofauna of the Krka National Park. Of the 18 fish, four are endemic. Two are endemics of the Adriatic basin: Zrmanja chub and Dalmatian minnow, and the other two are endemics (stenoendemics) of the river Krka: Visovac's trout and evil mouth (softmouth) trout. Eight species are endangered and protected: evil mouth (softmouth) trout as critically endangered, Balkan brook trout, Visovac's trout, common barbel and the Dalmatian barbelgudgeon as endangered, and Zrmanja chub, Dalmatian minnow and freshwater blenny as sensitive. The Danube basin brought fish such as European grayling and pike, and the non-native species which can be found in the municipality are California trout, stone moroko and mosquitofish.
There are six species of amphibians in the area. Three are strictly protected: European green toad, agile frog and tree frog.
There are 18 species of reptiles, of which fourteen (77.77%) are strictly protected. There are two particularly valuable species, endemic to the Balkan Peninsula: blue-throated keeled lizard and sharp-snouted rock lizard, which is known as one of the most beautiful lizards in Dalmatia. Among the nine discovered snakes, two are endemic to the Balkan Peninsula: four-lined snake, the longest Dalmatian snake, and Balkan whip snake with a body up to 150 cm, a large oval head and a blunt muzzle. The only venomous snake is horned viper, the king of the Dinarides, easily recognizable by the horn on the top of its head. There are also two semi-venomous snakes with a venom dangerous only for the small reptiles, birds and mammals: eastern Montpellier snake and European cat snake.
130 bird species have been recorded in the Promina area, and 91 species (70%) belong to one of the categories of endangered species. 73 species are nesting birds such as sparrow, Eurasian tree sparrow, Eurasian collared dove and feral pigeon. Swallow, house martin, Old World oriole, great reed warbler and European turtle-dove belong to the migratory nesting birds. At the state level, the Promina area is an important area for the survival of 7 endangered species: pigmy cormorant, golden eagle, short-toed snake eagle, peregrine falcon, merlin and calandra lark.
36 species of mammals, 75% of the total mammal fauna found in the Krka National Park, live in the Promina area. Most of them live in cultivated gardens and fields and meadows near urban settlements. Further away from the settlements, in more peaceful habitats live beasts such as beech marten, badger and fox, but a wild boar is also a common occurence. In settlements in almost all habitat types house mouse, wood mouse and eastern broad-toothed field mouse can be found, as well as black rat, brown rat, Eurasian pygmy shrew, greater white-toothed shrew, edible dormouse and southern white-breasted hedgehog. In the downy oak and the Oriental hornbeam forests you can find edible dormouse, wildcat, fox, jackal, least weasel and wild boar, but you can also occasionally run into roe deer and wolf descending from the mountains in the hinterland during cold winters.
An exceptionally valuable part of the mammal fauna are the nine species of bats which can be found in the area. Greater mouse-eared bat, lesser mouse-eared bat, greater horseshoe bat and lesser horseshoe bat can be found near the urban settlements, whereas common bent-wing bat, Geoffroy's bat, Mediterranean horseshoe bat and long-fingered bat can be found in caves and semi-caves of the canyon.
Five (13.88%) mammal species are considered endangered in the Promina area. The endangered species are long-fingered bat and common bent-wing bat as endangered, Mediterranean horseshoe bat and Blasius's horseshoe bat as sensitive and otter as a data deficient probably endangered species.
Text and photos: Drago Marguš