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Travelling across the Adriatic islands: Wetlands, No.1 Murter and Šolta

2. Travelling eng fbcover

 

During the last few months we are introducing you with our story which we create throught the project „Wetlands of Adriatic islands“. With this blog, you will not only be informed about this project, whose goal is to evaluate the wetlands on Adriatic islands, you will also be able to become a part of our story. Through the regular articles you'll be able to follow our field work and learn interesting facts about wetlands, their importance, endangerment, protection and their condition in Croatia, region and the world. For all of you which are interested in additional activites there will be an opportunity to actively be a part of our project.

 

IMG 6297 lokva kanali Murter IB

Pond on Murter.

 

There have been talks about the wetlands for years, mostly in negative context. In the last 100 years their number has dractically fallen and because of that they are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. From the ancient times the Mediterranean represent an area with a close connection between humans and wetlands which were very important for the development of culture. One of the biggest civilizations such as Egypt and Mesopotamia originated on or near such areas which were water and food reservoirs and they enabled transport of materials and goods. They are important not only for people but for animals and plants which permanently or occasionally live near or inside such water habitats, and also wetlands are very important for stopping floods and regulating the temperatures of the surrounding area. You can watch the video about the importance of the wetlands from „Wetlands Provide Priceless Services“ initiative for preserving Mediterranean wetlands - MedWet on this link: MedWet video.

 

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Pond on Šolta.

 

Our island story begins on Murter and Šolta! After the thorough plan and program which we made in the office, during the April, from 26. to 30. April 2017., we went on our first field research to find wetlands on these two islands. We had the coordinates of these wetlands which we acquired during the winter months when we searched and marked them with the help from topographic maps and satellite images. This job was much easier with the help from already exsisting data and coordinates from DZZP na JU Priroda. Wetlands on islands are variable, most common ones are man-made or natural ponds, but there are also opem cisterns, wet meadows, salt marshes, lakes, Mediterranean swamps etc. Follow these blog about travelling across the Adriatic islands an you will be familiarized with the diversity and natural heritage of the wetlands.

 

IMG 6256 ljudski utjecaj nasipanje slanuša Murter IB

Human influence on salt marsh on Murter

 

Weather conditions at the end of the April weren't on our side and rain and south-easterly wind aren't the best combination for fauna inventarization, so there wasn't many species which we found on this visit. Some of the most intersting ones are: two species of amphibians, European green toad (Bufotes viridis) and European tree frog (Hyla arborea); reptiles near the wetlands such as European glass lizard (Pseudopus apodus), Dalmatian wall lizard (Podarcis melisellensis) and Balkan whip snake (Hierophis gemonensis); dragonflies such as Blue-tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans) and lots of larvae which need to be determined. We also listed water vegetation and photographed all the habitats which we visited. Unfortunately we saw some negative antopogenic influence: on the Murter island parts of salt marshes are filled in to expand the road and on the Šolta island we saw foregin species in some ponds , mostly gold fishes but also one invasive Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans).

 

IMG 6525 B.viridis IB

European green toad - the most common amphibian on Adriatic islands

 

During the field work the locals were of great help for finding the wetlands and gathering information about them. On Šolta we talked with one older gentleman who helped us to determine if one pond was temporary or permanent, how much water on average are in it during the year and what purpose ponds had in the past and when was the last time they were cleaned nad managed. The local population is, after all, the best source of knowledge about their island. We recorded four wetlands on Murter and eleven wetlands on Šolta.

 

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Field work on pond on Šolta.

 

Besides field work we also organized lectures for the children in Vjekoslav Kaleb elementary school in Tisno and Grohote elementary school in Grohote, Šolta. For the grown ups and every interested island residents we also organized a workshop in Baganelovica Društveni centar in Jezera, Murter and Dom kulture in Grohote, Šolta with the goal of creating a web of volunteers on Adriatic islands. We would like to thank dr. sc. Marija Pandža for her enthusiasm and great desire to transfer the knowledge about wetlands to the local kids on Murter. Also, Mirela Mijić, pedagogue, and Dragana Đurić, librarian, were of great help because they enabled every student to find out about the wetlands of Šolta and we are very grateful to Dinko Sule for his activism and help during our travels on Šolta.

 

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Educational lecture in Grohote elementary school.

 

Our story continues on Dugi Otok, and Korčula follows soon after. With great impatience we await the newest stories of exploring the island wetlands, and organising workshops and lectures with local people.

Follow our stories and travel across the Adriatic islands with us!

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