Bosnia and Herzegovina are two regions geographically divided by the towering Dinaric Alps, which stretches from northwest Croatia through Bosnia and Herzegovina and into Montenegro finishing on the Albanian border. In the heart of the central Dinaric Alps, Herzegovina hosts the most imposing set of mountains ranges in the country - Prenj (2155m), Čabulja (1789m), Čvrsnica (2228m) and Velež (1969m) mountains. This area is known for its numerous endemic species of wild flowers. The warm Adriatic temperatures clash with the harsher alpine ones producing one of the most diverse and unique ecosystems in all of Europe.
In the south of Herzegovina, protected on all sides by arid hills and mountains is the wetland bird reserve of Hutovo Blato. Delta lakes, fed by underground springs, narrow river valleys, forests of reeds, lagoons, lush common land pastures, sand banks, riparian forests and river branches covered in aquatic plants together create a veritable bird paradise for more than 300 species of bird. Almost all of Herzegovina is made up of arid limestone, known as karst. In this area, the only lands suitable for cultivation are small depressions, karst fields, between barren mountains. The limestone karst fields of Herzegovina are amongst the largest in the world, creating amazing water sources and underground aquifer systems and caves. The cave systems house the large subterranean biodiversity with over 200 species ranging from cave-dwelling fish and insects to shellfish that only survive in underground systems. Vjetrenica also has ancient cave drawings of bears and leopards estimated to be over 10,000 years old. Speciality birds of the region include Rock Partridge, Corncrake, Glossy Ibis, Baillon's Crake, Golden and Booted Eagles, Eagle Owl, Collared Pratincole, Great Snipe, Temminck's Stint, Black, Syrian and White-backed Woodpeckers, Black-eared Wheatear, Rock Nutchatch, Sombre Tit, Black headed Bunting and Wallcreeper!
Text courtesy Wild-Herzegovina
Black-eared Wheatear © Glyn Sellors
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