Within the boundaries of Paklenica National Park, there are 20 different types of habitat. The most common animals, both in terms of species and accordingly in terms of individual specimens, are without doubt insects, with many endemic and protected species.
Of the 82 species of butterfly that have been identified in the Park, the most common is the scarce swallowtail. Of the endemic subspecies, Vagan’s silky ringlet can be found in the peak regions above 1,400m. In this region, one of the prettiest Croatian butterflies, the Apollo, is also found.
Thirty-one species of amphibians and reptiles have been found in the park, including 12 species of snakes. The non-venomous Balkan whip snake, the Leopard snake and the Aesculapian snake are most frequently seen in the Park, while the Nose-horned viper and the very rare Orsini’s viper are the only venomous snakes in the region
Birds are the most numerous vertebrates found in the park, and to date 212 species have been recorded. The bird population is represented by 97 species of nesting birds throughout the park. Of these, the 18 cliff species in the canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica are worthy of note. The most common species are the rock nuthatch and the blue rock thrush.
There were only three mating pairs of Griffon vultures left by the end of 1999. Unfortunately, the declining numbers of livestock in the Velebit region and the ever more frequent attempts to poison predators, particularly the wolf, have led to the bird’s near extinction in the park. We have also witnessed decreasing vulture populations on the Kvarner islands of Krk and Cres, and, hence, the Griffon vulture has become a highly threatened species, on the verge of extinction and disappearing from Croatia.
The sparrowhawk is a nesting bird in the pine forests, while the European robin is a very common songbird found in the coastal regions during the winter months. In the summer, it nests in the beech and beech-pine forests.
There are 47 species of mammals in the park. In terms of game, roe deer, bucks, chamois and wild boar can be found across the Park, while the array of larger predators includes brown bears, wolves and lynx.