NPŠO RAB (Training and Forest Research Centre Rab)
For more than 95 years, the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology has been conducting a part of its field education on the island of Rab. The founder of the Department of Silviculture, prof.dr. Andrija Petračić, was the first to bring forestry students back in 1923 to the island of Rab to show them the plants and the forests of the greenest island in the Adriatic. Since then, forestry students have been conducting a part of their field classes on the island of Rab every year. As a result, the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology founded its own training and forest research centre (NPŠO) on Rab.
The Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology of the University of Zagreb has been managing a part of the Mediterranean forests on the island of Rab for the educational purposes of highly qualified personnel and scientific research activities. The forests were taken over to administration and management in 1975. The aforementioned forests have a special purpose (>>The Special-Use Forests <<), and their main goal is to provide a vivid education to the students of forestry, to carry out scientific and research activities related to the natural regeneration of the Mediterranean forests and to make sure the forests on the island of Rab achieve their optimal tourist and recreational role.
The forests and the training and research facilities of NPŠO Rab are located in the coastal area of the south-western part of the island of Rab in the forest area Kalifront. In the central part of the coastal area of the facility there is a bay of St. Maro. The total forest area amounts to 98,80 hectares.
Development of a Forest Management Programme begins with the acquisition of forests by the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology which prescribes the necessary silvicultural works needed for the reforestation of the Mediterranean area to restore them to their original state. A great danger for any forest in the Mediterranean area, and especially for forests for the special-use and forests for the purposes of tourism with high frequency of people, is fire. Therefore, it was necessary to implement fire-prevention measures.
One of the peculiarities of the NPŠO Rab is the hunting ground "Kalifront" entrusted to the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology by the company “Hrvatske šume” d.o.o. Zagreb in 1997. for the implementation of the scientific and educational programme within the NPŠO Rab. The hunting ground covers the area of 1351 hectares. The basic aim of the research in the Kalifront hunting ground is to find the optimal relations between the factors of integral forest and wild game management in the habitat conditions of the conifer forest (Fraxino orni-Quercetum ilicis H-ić / 1956/1958) and its degraded stages. A significant contribution to the scientific research is the study of the impact of wildlife on the forest ecosystem, the impact on vegetation due browsing and grazing, impact on soil, and on the regeneration and development of the stand. The special goal is to improve the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of students at the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology in Zagreb. During the field classes, the students will be trained here in the practical work concerning hunting management.
The scientific work has been carried out on the experimental plots for forestry purposes. In addition, a permanent experimental plot of 1 hectare has been established as a part of the international project “Čovjek i biosfera” ("The Man and the Biosphere") (UNESCO-MAB), visited by experts of various professions for nature research. The scientific activity has been conducted particularly in the plant nursery. Besides, NPŠO Rab has been visited by various societies for natural sciences (Croatian Ecological Society, Croatian Biological Society, etc.), as well as by foreign scientists and experts on the official visit at the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology of the University of Zagreb. In the forest of NPŠO Rab 13 experimental plots have been set up for research activities on the surface of 2,3 hectares so far.