December 4, 2010

Škocjan Nature Reserve

Just outside Koper there's a nature reserve where you can truly admire nature in its best, the rich flora and fauna which boasts a number of rare or endangered species. The  Škocjan Nature Reserve is the largest brackish (where freshwater and sea water mix) wetland in Slovenia. It consists of brackish lagoon surrounded by reed beds and freshwater marsh.

The area was severely damaged back in 1980s, when the local authorities intended to fill up the brackish lagoon completely for purposes of developing an industrial and commercial zone. (I know, unbelievable!) In 1993 BirdLife Slovenia initiated a public campaign to protect the area. After five years of dedicated and persistent work the area was officially declared a nature reserve by Slovene government. Legal protection put a stop to degradation and the restoration of the wetland to conditions prior to degradation was completed in 2007 to ensure its long-term protection.(source:

Just a few facts from their website:
- 221 bird species were recorded, including 45 breeders
- Skocjan Nature reserve is located in the most Northern parts of Mediterranean
- a circular path takes you around the freshwater marsh but the animals are not affected by visitors as they can only be observed from observations sites, otherwise are protected by the reeds beds
- two Camargue horses have been introduced to the reserve so they can help with the "maintenance"
- Istrian cattle breed Boškarin was introduced as well to graze and prevent the meadows from overgrowing
- they have plans on bringing donkeys as well :) 

Here are a few pics from several of our visits. 

The Camargue mares

Observation deck (and yes, me:) )

A family of swans spends the winter at the reserve

Grdalin-the Slovenian name for this beautiful bird

Boškarin - the Istrian cattle breed

the lagoon

The Swan family

me and the reeds bed

through the observation "hole"


polly's path said...

oh, I am so GLAD it was preserved!!! What a gorgeous, calm, and serene place. Thanks for the virtual trip to Slovenia this morning...oh,this was beautiful.

Sharon said...

Beautiful Nature Reserve! Not enough of those places around anymore, so we have to make them! Thank you for the tour, and nice to "see" you too!

Feral Female said...

What a beautiful reserve!

Anonymous said...

Hello Sandra!! Ha, looks like we had similar activities this weekend. :) You captured beautiful shots of a beautiful reserve!

texwisgirl said...

Hi Sandra! Thanks for finding my blog and following me so I could follow you back home! :)

I love your photos and your love of nature and pets! Will enjoy getting to know you and your world a bit more!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos!!!
Big regards and kisses, Zondra Art

Rachel Elizabeth said...

Looks like a beautiful place to spend a day.

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