The Slovenia Times

Wildlife secured quiet spaces in Triglav National Park

Environment & Nature
A Triglav National Partk habitat conservation project. Photo: Tinkara Zupan/STA

Nineteen quiet areas have been created within the Triglav National Park to safeguard the wild cockerel, the white-tailed ptarmigan and active raised bogs as part of a €3.7 million EU-supported habitat conservation project.

The project VrH Julijcev - Improving the Condition of Species and Habitat types in the Triglav National Park, is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

The four-year effort, which will wrap up this year, involves nine partners, with stakeholder coordination proving a valuable lesson.

Its most visible achievements are the creation of active raised bogs and the quiet areas, including on the Pokljuka plateau, where visitor numbers have been increasing rapidly.

Visitor numbers in what is one of Europe's largest natural reserves is increasing by the year and the quiet areas should reduce the impact on human activity on sensitive animal and plant species, according to the head of the conservation project Andrej Arih.

Certain sections of forest roads passing through such areas in the national park have been closed to motor traffic and cyclists with gates, and speed displays have been erected on certain road sections to reduce noise.

Information signs have also been erected, warning people to walk along marked paths in some sections and prohibiting access altogether in others.

A number of efforts are still ongoing, among them the restoration of shallow water basins that serve as watering holes for livestock and are also important habitats for amphibians. A total of 17 such basins on 13 mountain pastures will be restored.

For the fourth year running, efforts have been under way to remove fish from the Double Lake to improve the status of what is one of the Seven Triglav Lakes.

The fish were introduced to the lake by humans nearly 30 years ago, which has disrupted the sensitive ecosystem, something that is being reflected in the extensive algal bloom on the lake.

Tomaž Mihelič from DOPPS-Birdlife Slovenia said that quiet areas would definitely contribute to the conservation of the wild cockerel on the otherwise very busy Pokljuka plateau.

Martin Šolar, vice-president of the Slovenian Mountaineering Association (PZS), stressed that it was crucial to keep visitors as well informed as possible. He said the association was not entirely happy with the introduction of some of the quiet areas, but some compromises ended up being reached.

The association understands that the protection of individual species requires certain restrictions. "I think there are enough trails and that, for the most part, the quiet areas are not really encroaching on the experience of hikers," Šolar said.


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