EDGE Community

Dušan Jelić
Zagreb, Croatia
  • EDGE Fellow
[General description section]

Dušan is a young biologist from Croatia who works in animal ecology and conservation. His primary interests are amphibians, reptiles and freshwater fish. He has managed and supervised several national and international research and conservation projects. Dušan strongly believes in scientifically based conservation, as demonstrated by his personal moto "In God we trust, all others bring data" [W.E. Deming].


Croatian Herpetological Society; freelancer


This project supports in-country EDGE Fellows to help conserve relevant EDGE species

This project focuses on the olm (Proteus anguinus), a cave dveling amphibian which is the only real cave vertebrate species in Europe. It is ranked 18th on EDGE list (and identified as a focal species) and 3rd on the Top 50 Evolutionarily Distinct Amphibians list.

In the area of the Dinaric karst, the olm is recognized as the most popular member of the subterranean fauna. Despite its popularity, general knowledge of the species’ ecology and biology is limited as it is a species that is actually rarely seen in nature and that is very vulnerable to human activity. Furthermore, there is a growing need for education of local communities in order to help the protection of this unique species.

The main reasons why the olm is endangered are the increasing and uncontrolled spread of urban areas and human made infrastructure, the uncontrolled excessive pollution of water habitats, and the use of crevices and cave entrances in olm habitats as landfill sites.

The olm is a species of European Community interest and a species in need of particularly strict protection, such as designating special areas of conservation and possibly reintroduction.

Management of project activities in Croatia.

Relevant species

Europe‘s only cave-adapted vertebrate, the olm can survive for 10 years without food.

[Relevance of this particular species to you (optional)]
Research interests

Amphibian and reptile population ecology and conservation. In particular, the population ecology of: Karst Viper (Vipera ursinii macrops), Adder (V. berus), various lizards (Podarcis sp., Zootoca vivipara, Ablepharus kitaibelii, etc.), Balkan Terrapin (Mauremys rivulata), Olm (Proteus anguinus), Alpine Salamander (Salamandra atra), etc.


Additional strong interest in freshwater fish research.


Croatian Herpetological Society; freelancer


(worked in State Institute for Nature Conservation until early 2012)

Relevant publications

Indexed Journals (13)

Zrnčić, S., Oraić, D., Mihaljević, Ž., Ćaleta, M., Zanella, D., Jelić, D. & Jelić, M. (2009): First observation of Posthodiplostomum cuticola (Nordmann, 1832) metacercariae in cypriniformes from Croatia. // Helminthologia. 46 (2009) , 2; 112-116


Jelić, D. & S. Lelo (2011): Distribution data (UTM grid 10X10 km) and Status quo of Natrix tessellata (Laurenti, 1768) in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Martensiella (in press)


Jelić, D. (2010): Record of Coronella austriaca LAURENTI, 1768 from the Island of Mljet, southern Croatia. Herpetozoa 23 (1/2): 85-87.


Ćaleta, M., Jelić, D., Buj, I., Zanella, D., Marčić, Z., Mustafić, P. & Mrakovčić, M. (2010): First record of the alien invasive species rotan (Perccottus glenii Dybowski, 1877) in Croatia. J. Appl. Ichthyol., 1–2.


Szövényi, G. & D. Jelić (2011): Distribution and conservation status of Snake eyed skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii Bibron & Bory, 1833) in Croatia. NW Jurnal of Zoology. NW Jurnal of Zoology. Vol. 7 (1): 20-25.


Jelić, D., Žutinić, P. & M. Jelić (2009): Characteristics and new data of river Ilova Ichthyofauna (Central Croatia). Ribarstvo, Vol. 67 No.2: 53-61.


Jelić, D. (2010): First record of the erythronotus mutant in Lacerta agilis argus LAURENTI, 1768 from Croatia. Natura Croatica Vol 19, No 2: 459-462.


Jelić, D., Žutinić, P. & M. Jelić (2010): New data on Ichthyofauna of river Česma (Central Croatia). Ribarstvo, Vol. 68 No. 3: 95-104.


Malina, T., Krecsák, L., Jelić, D., Maretić, T., Tóth, T., Šiško, M. & Pandak, N. (2011): First clinical experiences about the neurotoxic envenomings inflicted by lowland populations of the Balkan adder, Vipera berus bosniensis. NeuroToxicology 32 (1): 68-74.


Jelić, D. (2011): New data on distribution of Cottus gobio Linnaeus, 1758 in Croatia with special overview on Adriatic basin. Ribarstvo , Vol. 70 No.1:


Jelić, D. & Lauš, B. (2011): Record of Natrix tessellata (LAURENTI, 1768) as a prey of Hierophis gemonensis (LAURENTI, 1768).  Martensiella 18: 450.


Jelić, D. (2011): Larus cachinnans (Pallas, 1811) as natural predator of Natrix tessellata (LAURENTI, 1768) in Adriatic river basin. Martensiella 18: 451-452.


Jelić, D., Budinski, I. & Lauš, B. (2012): Distribution and conservation status of the batracho- and herpetofauna of the Croatian island of Mljet. Herpetozoa 24 (3/4): 1-14.


Other Journals (2)

Vörös, J. & Jelić, D. (2011): First steps to survey chytrid fungus in Croatia. HYLA Vol.2011, No.1: 31-34.


Jelić, D. & Bogdanović, T. (2011): Preliminary data on existence of Zootoca vivipara ssp. pannonica (Lac & Kluch, 1968) in Croatia. HYLA Vol.2011, No.1: 77-79.


Radočaj, M., Jelić, D., Ljubisavljević, K., Karaica, D. & Kapelj, S.  (2011): Morphological and reproductive traits of the insular population of Podarcis siculus campestris (DE BETTA, 1857) from Krk Island (Croatia). HYLA Vol. 2011, No. 2: 3-29.


Books (3)

Jelić, D., Duplić, A., Ćaleta, M. & P. Žutinić (2008): Endemic fish of the Adriatic river system in Croatia. ACE, 78 pp.


Dumbović, V., Posavec Vukelić, V., Duplić, A., Katušić, L., Jelić, D., Boršić, I. & Partl, A. (2009): Studija inventarizacije flore i faune rijeke Une i priobalnog pojasa (sa CD-om) [Inventarization of flora and fauna of river Una and it surroundings]. Sisačko-moslavačka županija, Sisak. 279 pp. (in Croatian)


Dumbović, V., Posavec Vukelić, V., Duplić, A., Katušić, L., Jelić, D., Boršić, I. & Partl, A. (2009): Akcijski plan zaštite biološke raznolikosti rijeke Une i priobalnog područja [Action plan for conservation of biodiversity of river Una and it surroundings].  Sisačko-moslavačka županija, Sisak. 100 pp. (in Croatian)



Dušan Jelić, M.Ed (Biol.)

Prva breznička 5a,
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
jelic.dusan(add et)gmail.com

Associated Blog Posts
16th Aug 13
EDGE fellow Dušan Jelić and the PROTEUS project in Croatia has received a € 240,000 grant to continue his vital work on the olm. These funds will all...  Read

12th Sep 12
Since the Croatian Herpetological Society started the olm conservation project "PROTEUS” in 2011, we have hosted several very important meetings and round-...  Read

1st Mar 12
Hi! My name is Dušan Jelić and I live in Zagreb, the capital city of a beautiful country called Croatia (Central Europe). I have just become an EDGE Fellow...  Read