Štajerska Region grasslands and Dravinja with tributaries pilot area forms a joined Štajerska Region pilot area comprising of 5 Natura 2000 areas:
- Ličenca Pri Poljčanah
- Boč - Haloze - Mount Saint Donatus
- Dravinja Valley
- Dravinja with tributaries
Volčeke wetland is situated in Celje basin and enjoys a status of a natural value of national importance. The area is a special oasis of water meadows, where one can find the purple moor-grass, one of the most endangered habitat types in Slovenia. Numerous species of butterflies and species of the Lycaenidae butterfly family also live here.
Ličenca pri Poljčanah is named after the Ličenca stream, left-hand tributary of the Dravinja river. It is situated in the middle of Dravinja Hills which meet Pohorje in the north, Karavankas in the south, Haloze in the southeast, and Drava flats in the northeast. There are 11 protected areas in the project area, among which there are 9 natural monuments, a landscape park (Žabjek Landscape Park), and a nature reserve (Cigonca Forest Reserve).
In the areas surrounding the stream, there are pools and ponds with humid meadows. The cultivated landscape has a very high proportion of beech and oak forests. Due to the landscape features of the plains and gentle slopes, wet and occasionally flooded meadows present an ideal living environment for more than 35 species of dragonflies, among them also the large white-faced darter and species of the Lycaenidae butterfly family. In the forests, one also finds two types of beetles, Carabus variolosus and Lucanus cervus.
In the northeast of Slovenia, there are 32 protected areas in Boč, Haloze and Mount Saint Donatus areas, which include 24 natural monuments, 6 nature reserves and 2 landscape parks (Boč Landscape Park - Mount Saint Donatus and Boč Landscape Park, Plešivec). Boč, also called the Triglav of Štajerska Region, geologically and geomorphologically represents the easternmost part of Karavankas and, with its surroundings, is considered to be an area of secluded karst. This means it lacks a developed river network and consequentially, there is not much arable land in the area. There are mostly meadows and pastures. The highest vineyards in Slovenia are located at the altitude of 500 meters. In Haloze, which has developed on a marl bedrock, both soil and climate enable vineyards, orchards and fields, meadows and pastures, to thrive.
In Boč, Haloze in Mount Saint Donatus areas, one finds a wealth of Illyrian oak, hornbeam, beech and maple forests. Dry meadows are home to orchids and greater pasque flower. Slovenia is the southernmost habitat of pasque flowers. As far as the animal species are concerned, the area is ideally suited to the life of bats - greater and lesser horseshoe bats.
The Dravinja river is one of the few rivers in Slovenia that are not fully regulated. It maintains its natural flow, which forms numerous meanders and sandy banks. The river valley is interspersed with numerous extensive meadows, where the second most important area of the stork population is located. Additionally, there are also important kingfisher nesting sites in the Dravinja Valley.
The Dravinja river which springs from Rogla on Pohorje and flows into the Drava river has 8 major tributaries. The whole area represents the habitat of rare plant and animal species, the most famous of which is greater pasque flower. It boasts with 15 protected areas, namely 13 natural monuments and 2 landscape parks (Boč Landscape Park - Mount Saint Donatus and Štatenberg Landscape Park).
The surface of the Dravinja Valley and its tributaries is formed by grasslands, hedgerows, willows, lone trees, overgrown backwaters, bends and depressions, marshes, and pools. The tributaries are the living environment of a type of freshwater crab and one of the most endangered species of decapods, stone crayfish. Gravel deposits, deep pools, shallows, and backwaters are the living environments of green snaketail, of autochthonous and endangered species of aquatic vertebrates lampreys, and of southern barbels, cactus roaches, and Sabanejewia auratas.
In the forests, one comes across the largest European beetle, Lucanus cervus. Its Slovenian name, rogač, refers to the huge jaw of the male, reminiscent of deer antlers. In the floristically rich and cultivated meadows of the moderately humid lowlands, thrive great burnet and endangered butterfly species of large copper, scarce large blue, and dusky large blue. The diverse fauna is further upgraded by kingfisher, white stork, red-backed shrike, otter, and various species of bats.
There were frequent floods in the area. The river regulations resulted in the changes of the water regime and of the bottom structure, which profoundly affect the features of this area and the ecological demands of the species living in and by Dravinja.
- Natura 2000 areas:
- Volčeke, SI3000213, determined under Habitats Directive
- Ličenca pri Poljčanah, SI3000214, determined under Habitats Directive
- Boč - Haloze - Mount Saint Donatus, SI3000118, determined under Habitats Directive
- Dravinja Valley, SI5000005, determined under Birds Directive
- Dravinja with tributaries, SI3000306, determined under Habitats Directive
- Municipalities in Natura 2000 area: Majšperk, Poljčane, Slovenska Bistrica, Videm, Podlehnik, Makole, Ptuj, Slovenske Konjice, Šentjur pri Celju, Rogatec, Šmarje pri Jelšah, Celje
- Volčeke: 104.50 ha
- Ličenca pri Poljčanah: 2,727.9 ha
- Boč - Haloze - Mount Saint Donatus: 10,882.2 ha
- Dravinja Valley: 1,911.08 ha
- Dravinja with tributaries: 541.7 ha
- Number of species:
- Volčeke: 5
- Ličenca pri Poljčanah: 11
- Boč - Haloze - Mount Saint Donatus: 18
- Dravinja Valley: 3
- Dravinja with tributaries: 13
- Number of habitat types:
- Volčeke: 2
- Ličenca pri Poljčanah: 6
- Boč - Haloze - Mount Saint Donatus: 7
- Dravinja Valley: 0
- Dravinja with tributaries: 4
- Management plans in the area:
- Volčeke: /
- Ličenca pri Poljčanah: Forest management plans for Slovenska Bistrica, and Slovenske Konjice units
- Boč - Haloze - Mount Saint Donatus: Forest management plans for Boč, Lešje, Rodni Vrh, and Rogaška Slatina units
- Dravinja Valley: /
- Dravinja with tributaries: Forest management plans for Boč, Lešje, Slovenska Bistrica, and Slovenske Konjice units