Improve River LIFE - Improving degree of conservation of Natura 2000 target species and habitat type

Project duration: 1. 9. 2023. - 31. 8. 2028.

Total budget: 4.736.406,36 €

EU co-financing (75%): 3.552.302 €

EPEEF co-financing: 344.929,43 €

Project number: LIFE22-NAT-HR Improve River LIFE/101114250


Project description:
The main objective of the project is to improve the level of conservation of the endangered and endemic species of softmouth trout (Salmo obtusirostris), which is found only in a few rivers of the Adriatic basin in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. This goal is to be achieved by improving the habitat conditions in the rivers Vrljika and Jadro, which represent the only remaining softmouth habitat in Croatia. The improvement of habitat conditions and the level of conservation of the softmouth trout population will be achieved by improving the longitudinal connectivity of the river ecosystems by removing anthropogenic barriers or ensuring their continuity for the unhindered migration of endemic fish species, as well as by implementing other conservation measures that include restoring and maintaining the riparian vegetation belt with native species, controlling invasive fish species, controlling macrophytic vegetation and supporting the achievement and maintenance of the stability and sustainability of the softmouth trout population. With the aim of improving habitat conditions and maintaining and improving the mollusk population, continuous monitoring of biological, physico-chemical and hydromorphological conditions in the Jadro and Vrljica rivers will be carried out.

The project will improve cooperation between the PMF and the nature conservation and water management sectors, which will improve species and habitat management as well as water management by achieving and maintaining good status of surface and ground waters. The project will ensure the longitudinal connection of at least 7.5 km of the Vrljika River and at least 2 km of the Jadro River. The project thus lays the foundation for improving river continuity at the national level and contributes to achieving the EU Biodiversity Strategy's goal of converting at least 25,000 km of rivers into free-flowing rivers by 2030, i.e. restoring them to their natural state by removing obstacles and restoring floodplains.


Project sites:

The project will be implemented on two rivers of the Adriatic Sea basin, Vrljika and Jadro, which are also Natura 2000 protected areas and whose headwaters are protected as Special Ichthyological Reserves, where some of the remaining habitats of the softmouth trout (Salmo obtusirostris) are located.





Project website (Ministry of Environmental Protection and Green Transition) 


Project partners: 

Department of Biology

Croatian Waters

Public Institution Sea and Karst




Useful links:


Tracking platform for locating artificial obstacles in river flows:

Amber Barrier Atlas


Important institutions:
Ministarstvo poljoprivrede
Fond za zaštitu okoliša i energetsku učinkovitost  
Institut za vode Josip Juraj Strossmayer 
Nacionalni park Plitvička jezera  
Hrvatski športsko ribolovni savez 
Lokalna akcijska grupa „ADRION“
Lokalna akcijska grupa Cetinska krajina 
Lokalna akcijska grupa Zagora
Jadro izletište 
WWF Adria  

*Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

*This document was made with the financial support of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (EPEEF). The content of this document is the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and under no circumstances can it be considered as a reflection of the views and opinions of the EPEEF.