Within the park boundaries there are 20 different habitat types.
The most common animals in the park, by number of species and the number of individuals are certainly the insects, with many endemic and protected species.

Of the butterflies, which include 82 species in the park region, the most common is the scarce swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius). Of the endemic subspecies, Vaganís silky ringlet (Erebia gorgae, ssp. vagana) must be noted in the peak regions above 1400 m. In this region, one of the most beautiful Croatian butterflies, the Apollo (Parnassius apolo) is also found.

There are 31 species of amphibians and reptiles in the park, including 12 snakes. The most commonly found in the park are the Balkan whip snake (Coluber gemonensis), the Leopard snake (Elaphe situla) and the Aesculapian snake (Elaphe longissima). The Nose-horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) and the very rare Orsiniís viper (Vipera ursinii ssp. macrops) are the only venomous snakes in the region.

Birds are the most abundant vertebrates in the park, with 212 species recorded to date. The bird population is widely represented throughout the park by 97 species of nesting birds. Of the nesting birds, the cliff populations in the canyons of Mala and Velika Paklenica, represented by 18 species, must be noted. The most common species are the rock nuthatch (Sitta neumayer) and the blue rock thrush (Monticola solitarius). The Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) was represented in 1999 by only three mating pairs. Unfortunately, the declining numbers of animals in the Velebit region and the increasing attempts to poison predators, particularly the wolf, have lead to near extinction in the park. We have also witnessed decreasing vulture populations on the Kvarner islands of Krk and Cres, and as such, the Griffon vulture is becoming a very threatened species, on the verge of disappearing from Croatia. The sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) is a nesting bird in the pine forests. The European robin (Erithacus rubecula) is a common songbird found in the coastal regions of the park during the winter months. In the summer, it nests in the beech and beech-pine forests.

There are 47 species of mammals in the park. Throughout the park, one can see game species such as roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) and wild boar (Sus scrofa). Large predator species include the brown bear (Ursus arctos), the wolf (Canis lupus) and the lynx (Lynx lynx).

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