Mt. Bilogora

Protected by Natura 2000

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Mt. Bilogora (Bilo-gora, Bilo-gorje – English trans.: “white mountain”), low vast mountains in northern Croatia. It consists of a series of mounds and hills, and short low ridges with rounded humps and heads, which stretch along the southwestern edge of Podravina from northwest to southeast for about 80 km, with the highest wooded peak Rajcevica (309 m above sea level).
The northeastern slopes are steeper than the southwestern ones. In the west, the 186 m high Lepavina pass connects to Kalnik (railway Križevci – Koprivnica), and in the east the 270 m high Đuloveski pass to Papuk (railway Daruvar – Veliki Bastaji – Suhopolje). Within these borders, Bilo-gorje covers 1700 km² and is the second largest in central Croatia.

For the most part, Bilogora is protected by the Natura 2000 network, an ecological network of the European Union consisting of natural habitat types and habitats of wild species of interest to the European Union.

According to Article 4 of Directive 2009/147 / EC and Annex II of Directive 92/43 / EEC, 19 animal species are under strict protection.
In addition to the enormous devastation of the forest fund, the destruction of biodiversity by excessive logging has caused a shortage of honey trees, and consequently bees are starving, getting sick and dying.

In 2021, compared to previous years, 40% fewer bees were recorded on Bilogora than in previous years.                                  

Most of the area of Bilogora and Kalnički gorje is managed by the state company Croatian Forests Ltd (Hrvatske šume d.o.o.) which are most responsible for the deforestation of huge forest areas.
Following the reports of our field activists during 2019, we visited Bilogora several times, recorded numerous devastations, and the analysis of satellite programs established the total observed devastation from 2009 to 2019 is 3,595 ha (35,950,000 m2).

Since deforestation continued after 2019, we visited Bilogora again in 2021 and documented 117 new deforestation fields, with a total area of 2,597 ha, which together with the deforestation from 2009 to 2019 amounts to a total of 6,192 ha (for comparison it is about 12,384 football fields!).

After reviewing the collected documents and recordings about this, we immediately informed the European Commission, but also the MEP and Co-chair of the European Greens Thomas Waitz, who immediately after our personal report visited the devastated area of Mt. Bilogora.

During this visit, he confirmed the veracity of the Green Squad’s claims regarding the alarming deforestation in the Republic of Croatia, including forests under the special protection of Natura 2000.

In addition to visiting the Special Ornithological Reserve Crna Mlaka and the devastated large forest areas of Special Zoological Reserve Varoški Lug, Waitz also included the devastation of Mt. Bilogora in an official complaint he formally sent to the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries.

“The management plans under which the state-owned company Croatian Forests Ltd. has been conducting ecocide on Mt. Bilogora for years have been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, as well as the Forestry Inspection of the State Inspectorate of the Republic of Croatia.”

For a more detailed analysis of deforestation, see HERE.