NP Kornati

NP Kornati

In 1980, the eighty-nine southernmost of the 140-odd islands, islets and reefs of the Kornati archipelago were declared a national park. The area covered by the National Park mostly coincides with the Donji Kornati, which includes the island of Kornat and the surrounding islets, separated with a channel from the island of Piškera and the surrounding islets. The national park includes 109 islands, and  the most important places on the islands are: the shallow channel Mala Proversa, the oval-shaped Taljurič island, Špinuta Bay, Stivina Bay, the fourth largest island Levrnaka, the second largest karst rock-area Tarac, Svršata Vela island, Mana island, Piškera island, Panitula Vela island, the picturesque Lavsa Bay, the resort island Ravni Žakan, Smokvica Vela island, the Opat peninsula, Samograd island, the Purara reserve for marine life, Vrgada and Gangarol islands. The names of the islands Babina Guzica and Kurba Vela, which in Croatian refer to buttocks and prostitution, offer an opportunity to explain the many vulgar names officially given to many places in the Kornati archipelago. When Austrian surveyors came to record the archipelago at the end of the 19th century, their local guides mocked them by making up vulgar names for the various locations. Fauna of the NP is consited of sea gulls which are the most numerous animals, but also lizards and ring-snakes, and 69 varieties of butterfly, some amphibians and rodents. Vegetation on the islands is very sparse maquis. There have been 200 known varieties of Mediterranean plants, but they have degenerated. The most common plant is a tough variety of grass, but there are many scented and medicinal herbs: sage, feather grass and Xeranthemum, giving a fragrant spring, and during the year providing the best forage for bees.