The Slovenia Times

Project presented to protect the endemic black olm


The presentation was held at the spring of the Jelševniščica Stream near Črnomelj, which is one of the three known habitats of the black olm, all of which can be found in an area smaller than 100 square kilometres.

The project is being implemented in partnership of the Municipality of Črnomelj, the Bela Krajina development and education centre, the environmental NGO Proteus and the Novo Mesto unit of the Nature Conservation Institute.

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development will cover 80% of the costs of the project, which is expected to conclude in November.

Andrej Hudoklin of the Nature Conservation Institute said that the project was about drawing attention to the rarity of the black olm, limiting its endangerment and promoting the species as an attraction of the Bela Krajina region.

An observation point will be set up above the spring of the Jelševniščica as part of the project, which will also include presentations of the black olm in its natural habitat and in the nearby Zupančič Homestead.

Črnomelj Mayor Andrej Kavšek said that the project would connect environmental protection and tourism, adding that the development of the habitat of the endemic species would also promote Bela Krajina at the national and global levels.

The black olm was first found in 1986 during the exploration of the Dobličica karst spring. Its main differences from the olm is that its skin is normally pigmented and that its eyes are almost normally developed.

Activists from Bela Krajina have been warning that the black olm is endangered due to the pollution of the underground waters in the region and saturation of its habitat with nitrates and phosphates.


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