Association Hyla

Association Hyla is non-governmental expert association employing biologists and conservation experts with the main goal to assess, conserve and protect nature and biodiversity.  During its 25 years of activity Hyla carried out more than 100 projects.

The previous activities of the Association in the research of the Balkan Terrapin (Mauremys rivulata) started in 2004. and with short interruptions continue to this day. During this period, through population surveys, individuals of the species were measured, photo-documented and marked, and information was collected about their distribution. Research was conducted on the population numbers and the connectivity of its habitats. Microbiological studies of the individuals were carried out, DNA samples were collected and studies made of the genetic diversity of the Balkan Terrapin. Ex-situ breeding of individuals was also carried out. Pregnant females were transported to the Zoological Garden of Zagreb where a breeding program was carried out and concluded with the return of the young turtles to nature.

Collected species data was published in a dozen reports, elaborates, an educational booklet "Balkan Terrapin - a hidden inhabitant of southern Croatia." and two congress posters. Also, the species endangerment was assessed according to IUCN criteria.

Hyla’s work contributed to the declaration of the first herpetological reserve in Croatia - Lokva in Majkovi. Along with University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Hyla was one of the lead experts in development of Management plan with action plan for M. rivulata. Through the Management Plan, pressures and threats to the conservation of the target species were defined.

As a part of the LIFE for Mauremys project, the Association Hyla provides needed expertise on the target species and its habitat. Hyla will be responsible for some of the activities to raise public awareness for the protection of Balkan Terrapin. In addition to all of the above, the Hyla Association is competent to apply the acquired knowledge, supplement it with new understanding and methods in cooperation with project partners.


  • Ana Štih Koren, Hyla Project coordinator, freshwater terrapins and habitats expert.
  • Katarina Koller Šarić, Hyla Assistant in monitoring and education, project coordinator stand-in, species and habitat monitoring expert
  • Anja Neduk, Hyla educator
  • Ivona Burić, Hyla Senior Expert


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