Animals of the Cres and Losinj archipelago - fauna
There are around 190 species of birds registered in the area of Cres and Losinj, where most of them also nest.
The most well-known bird and one of the two symbols of the islands of Cres and Losinj (besides dolphins) is the griffon vulture. It is a bird of prey from the family of vultures. Today they are only 50 pairs of them left on the island of Cres. Because they are endemic to this area and rarely found in other European countries, they are an endangered species facing extinction. Great efforts are devoted to the preservation of their remaining habitats, which have been officially declared ornithological preserves. Scientists are continually monitoring their development and number. In addition to griffon vultures, there are many other rare and endangered species of birds in these ornithological preserves.
There are eagles – white snake eagles, golden and gray sea eagles, peregrine falcons, horned owls, little owls, swifts, and, of course, the unavoidable inhabitants of the seaside – the seagulls.
The only larger beast of prey on the island is the stone marten. There are also rabbits and hares, the Kvarner moles and dormice. In the area of Punta Kriza there are fallow deer, and on the island of Cres you can find mouflons, does, chitals and boars.
There are no poisonous snakes on the islands of Cres and Losinj, and the legend says that they were banished after these islands were blessed by the St. Gaudentius, the bishop of Ossero or, in Croatian, Osor. The scientists have still not discovered the reasons for this. There are as much as 7 non-poisonous snakes.
The richness and diversity of the flora and the human influence on these parts for thousands of years have created conditions for the development of a large number of insects, some of which are extremely rare, most notably the beetle from the family of weevils, which lives only in the caves on the island of Cres and nowhere else in the world.