Plitvice lakes conservation
Although extensively distributed and critical for many species, including humans, lakes account for just over 3% of the planet’s surface. These rare systems are more and more threatened by the human demand for freshwater as well as human activity. According to recent evidence, freshwater systems are more in danger than marine and terrestrial ones.
Efficient conservation and management of these systems relies on our capability to fulfill the growing human demand for freshwater while maintaining system integrity. Plitvice lakes and ponds are created by a diversity of processes. For example, the geologic uplift of mountains can lead to depressions that fill with water to create lakes.
Some Plitvice lakes are formed in the crater of an inactive volcano. The biodiversity of freshwater habitats is vulnerable and increasingly threatened by human activities. Habitat loss, chemical contamination, global warming, and exotic species are just some of the factors that have directly or indirectly impacted lakes. In 1893, Gustav Janeček, a Czech from Zagreb, founded the Society for the preservation of the Plitvice Lakes, with the aim of preserving the lakes and its biodiversity. Today, Plitvice lakes are synonymous with natural, unspoiled environment.
Historic region of Lika
The Plitvice Lakes area has always been regarded as part of the historic region of Lika, a mountainous region, serving as an important link between Continental Croatia and Croatian coast. According to folk etymology, Lika was named after a Croatian word for medicine – “lik”. But, according to the second interpretation, the name derives from the Greek word for wolf – “likos”. Illyrian tribe Japodes inhabited this mystical land in prehistoric and ancient times. In the first century of BC Roman army conquered Lika, but Japodes still retained their tribal autonomy, dealing with nomadic cattle breeding. After the dissoulution of the Roman Empire and the migration of people, Lika was settled by Croatian tribes. The whole area is rich in historical leftovers, from prehistory to present day. The biggest highlight of this region are definitely Plitvice lakes. It is interesting to note that in older times, people living in coastal Croatia went to Lika during summer vacations. Being a mountainous region, it had a much friendlier air temperature.
The importance of National Parks
Although the primary purpose of National Parks is the protection of biodiversity, they deliver precious economic, cultural, social and health benefits to people. It is our duty to ensure that our children see these natural values intact. Plitvice provide vital habitat in which animals and plants can survive and prosper. Untouched natural areas also provide a variety of resources and processes important for human life and the economy. Some of the national parks are alive with history and culture, they serve as a natural history publication dating back thousand of years. In an increasingly frantic life, national parks serve as an important sanctuary where people can take time out, enjoy nature, relax and revitalize. Natural beauty of Plitvice lakes serves as a source of artistic, creative and spiritual inspiration. It is proven that the contact with the natural environment has a strong psychological effect. It reduces stress, anger, aggression and frustration, providing an opportunity for social bonding, and serving as a place for learning and mental stimulation.