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Objectives and background

The principal objective of the project is to restore and manage habitats of Škocjanski zatok Nature Reserve after industrial degradation in the 1980s in order to support endangered birds of national and European importance.
This project is of strategic importance on national and international level due to the following reasons:

  1. Its location at bird migration routes, as wintering, feeding, breeding or moulting areas.
  2. It is one of the sites in the network of coastal Mediterranean wetlands in N Adriatic, important for migratory birds and one of only two such sites located on the Slovenian coastline. Due to the obvious rarity of such habitats at the country level it is important to re-establish its favourable conservation status in order to support the favourable conservation status of other site as well (IBA Sečoveljske soline n.r.)
  3. The project is a continuation of a 15 years struggle to protect and conserve habitats and birds in the area and at the same time the first example of conservation efforts being able to stop the degradation and afterwards start to improve the habitat – it is a sample project of crucial importance for conservation of future SPAs in Slovenia. The supportive public expects the results and to keep their support, it’s important to start the restoration activities immediately.
  4. Škocjanski zatok NR was designated as Natura 2000 site (SPA) upon the Birds Directive in April 2004 and is potential Site of Community Interest upon the Habitat Directive as well.
  5. It’s the first example in Slovenia of an NGO managing a protected area.

The high costs of the reserve restoration point out the importance of environmental impact assessment in order to avoid degradation of natural environments (preventive approach).

Among the threats to bird populations and other biodiversity we highlighted the insufficient flow and circulation of water in the lagoon, the lagoon sediment pollution, loss of nesting habitats due to past degradation and the disturbance caused by human presence.