Restoring and conserving habitats and birds in Škocjanski Zatok N.R.

Škocjanski zatok Nature Reserve is the largest brackish wetland in Slovenia. It is located on the outskirts of the coastal city of Koper and consists of brackish lagoon surrounded by reedbeds and agricultural land which is to be turned into a freshwater marsh. An outstanding quality of the Nature Reserve is its rich flora and fauna which boasts a number of rare or endangered Slovenian species.

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. In 1993, DOPPS - BirdLife Slovenia initiated a public campaign to protect the area. After five years of dedicated and persistent work by our staff and volunteers and invaluable support from BirdLife Partners, the area was officially declared a nature reserve by Slovene government in 1998.

At the end of 1999, DOPPS obtained a management licence over the Reserve. Legal protection put a stop to degradation and now the challenge is to restore the wetland to conditions prior to degradation and to ensure its long-term protection. The restoration started in the beginning of 2006 and is planned to be completed in 2007. The freshwater part of the reserve is expected to be restored and re-opened for the public by the end of 2006.

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