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Location Croatia, Zadarsko-kninska zupanija
Central coordinates 15o 29.31' East  44o 4.17' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i
Area 10,171 ha
Altitude 0 - 109m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association BIOM (Affiliate)

Site description The Vransko Lake is the largest lake in Croatia. The water is shallow. A large and well developed reed bed in the NW part of the lake supports the richest wetland ornithofauna on the Croatian coast. Revitalisation of wetland habitats and flooded meadows in the area north of the Nature Park (former Vransko blato) is proposed. Hills on the eastern side are covered by maquis. In winter Vransko Lake regularly supports more than 20.000 waterbirds (mostly Coots). It is the only breeding area for Purple Heron in Mediterranean Croatia and the only regular breeding site of Pygmy Cormorant in Croatia. Birds are threatened mainly by illegal construction, agricultural intensification, drainage, excessive or illegal hunting in surrounding area and excessive water extraction from lake tributaries.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus unknown  2001  30 individuals  unknown  A1  Least Concern 
Common Coot Fulica atra winter  1994  30,000-60,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed low

Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (commercial use) happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
SJEVEROZAPADNI DIO VRANSKOG JEZERA Special Reserve 30 protected area contained by site 883  
Vransko Jezero Nature Park 5,700 protected area contained by site 5,746  
Vransko jezero i Jasen Other Area 5,912 protected area contained by site 5,912  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
hunting -
tourism/recreation -
other -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lake Vransko. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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