Terrain shapes and bedrock
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a mountainous country. The
Dinaric Alps stretch in the north-west-southeast direction
and make their mark especially on the westernmost parts of
the country. The highest point is Maglić in the southeast
with 2,386 m asl. Between the mountain ranges lie vast
plateaus, severely affected by soil erosion in the treeless
landscape. To the northeast, east of the Bosna River, lies a
more wooded area.
The bedrock consists largely of limestone, in which the
underground drainage formed a karst landscape with caves,
dolphins and gullies. Especially in southern Bosnia and
Herzegovina, the dolphins have been extended to open and
fertile river valleys.
The largest rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina are Sava and
its tributaries Una, Vrbas and Bosna in the north. In the
south, Neretva is the largest river.
Despite its proximity to the Mediterranean, only the area
west of the Dinaric Alps has a Mediterranean climate; the
average temperature in e.g. Mostar is 6 °C in January and
26 °C in July. The rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina has a
continental climate with severe winters and most of the
rainfall during spring and early summer. Sarajevo has an
average temperature in January of −1 °C and in July of 19 °C.
The annual rainfall decreases from west to east. In the
Dinar Alps more than 1,500 mm falls, in eastern Bosnia and
Herzegovina 750-1000 mm.
Plant-and animal life
In areas that are not cultivated, at lower levels,
high-growth forest dominates, among other things. beech,
oaks, Serbian fir (Piʹcea omoriʹca) and silver fir.
In the deciduous forests there are heat-demanding species
such as dwarf maple, mana box and European hop book (Oʹstrya
carpinifoʹlia). The higher mountain areas have a rich
alpine vegetation with, among other things. many spring
flowering onion plants.
Especially in the mountain areas there are small tribes
of wolf, brown bear, European wildcat and red deer. Wild
boar and red fox have a large distribution. There are many
species of birds of prey. goose bears, king eagle and dwarf
eagle; snake eagle, emperor eagle and eagle wail. White
stork is common in the cultivation areas, while black stork
nests in some forest areas. In the wetlands there are
several species of herons. Among turtles are Greek turtle
and marsh turtle and among molluscs the cave species olm.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (2012) has three national parks:
Kozara (34 km2), Sutjeska (172 km2)
and Una (198 km2). Less than 1% of the country's
area is nature protected.