Dinara is a mountain located on the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. It has two major peaks: Troglav ("Threehead", 1913 m) and the eponymous Dinara (1831 m). The peak called Dinara is the highest peak of Croatia, is shaped like a human head made of stone, and also has a prominence of 728 m.
It is best known for the fact that its name is the base for the name of a large mountain chain called the Dinaric Alps or Dinarides. The Dinarides are known for being composed of karst — limestone rocks — as is the mountain that named them.
Dinara itself spans from the Derala mountain pass (965 m) in the northwest to the Privija pass (1230 m) which is 20 km to the southeast, where the Kamešnica Mountain begins. The Dinara Mountain is up to 10 km wide.
Dinara is located only a few dozen kilometers away from the Adriatic Sea, and is part of the Dalmatian hinterland, but the climate on Dinara is a much colder, mountain climate, making it one of the coldest places in Croatia with average temperatures between 2 and 4 °C at the peaks. The average precipitation is high, while the number of sunny hours per year ranges between 1,700 and 1,900.
One of the most fascinating massifs is on the southwestern slope. It is six kilometers long and up to 1700 meters high, providing an interesting landscape for the travelers on the roads in the valley below to view. The massif does not attract many climbers, but its Ošljak peak (1706 m) does.
Flora and Fauna
Native vegetation of the Dinara region comprises a large number of plant communities, or habitat types. According to the data available, in the area of the Dinara mountain there are around 750 plant species, of which more than 110 are strictly protected and 55 are endemics.
The flora comprises of mountain grasslands, Scopoli's rockcress (Arabidopsis arenosa, Arabidopsis halleri and Arabidopsis croatica, dinarian mouse ear Hieracium Pilosella, dalmatian rockbell Edraianthus dalmaticus, pasque flower Pulsatilla, lion's paw Leonotis leonurus, yellow gentian Gentiana lutea, common juniper Juniperus communis and hairy azalea Rhododendron Rhododendron.
In terms of ornithology, the Dinara region, particularly the peaks and the slopes of the Dinara mountain appertaining to it and the habitat around the Upper Cetina, from its source to the Peruća dam, is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) according to the EU Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds.
The bird species include: common pheasant Phasianus colchicus, common quail Coturnix coturnix, shore lark Eremophila alpestris, redshank Tringa totanus, stone curlew Burhinus oedicnemus, moustached warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon, golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos and short-toed snake eagle Circaetus gallicus. Also there is sighting of eurasian griffon vulture Gyps fulvus probably on their flight over to Cres.
The mammals of the Dinara region are: brown bear Ursus arctos, grey wolf Canis lupus, eurasian lynx Lynx lynx, wildcat Felis silvestris, red fox Vulpes vulpes, wild boar Sus scrofa, eurasian badger Meles meles, brown hare Lepus europaeus and balkan snow vole. Dinara is host to an endemic species of rodent, the Balkan snow vole (Dolomys bogdanovi longipedis), known in Croatian as the Dinarski miš ("Dinara mouse"). It is an endangered species.
The relatively well-preserved, extensive and diverse habitats of the Dinara and Svilaja mountains and the Upper Cetina provide a refuge to a number of invertebrate species whose natural habitats have been endangered due to specific living conditions they require, while many of them are endemics and placed on the Red List (certain species of caddisflies, dragonflies, stoneflies, orthoptera, etc.).
Invertebrates living in caves and holes make a special group – their biology remains relatively unknown, but they are protected as the cave fauna together with cave vertebrates.
Insects include: dalmatian ringlet Proterebia afra dalmata, rosalia longicorn, longhorn beetle, firebug, hornet, bumblebee, stag beetle and marsh fritillary.
The herpetofauna of the Dinara region comprises around 15 species of lizards, snakes and amphibians, some of which are endangered, mostly due to the fact that their natural habitats have been either reduced in extent or suffered degradation.
The herpetofauna comprises: smooth snake, balkan whip snake, nose-horned viper, fire salamander, slow worm, karst meadow viper and alpine newt.