At the beginning of this year, Slovenia’s National Institute of Biology prepared an extensive list of the species inhabiting Ljubljana Marsh Nature Park, in cooperation with the Centre for Cartography of Fauna and Flora and numerous taxonomical experts. The species list, which currently includes 5820 species, is available at www.bioportal.si/katalog/bidrex_kpljb.php.
After compiling the list, the next step was to identify the priority species for protection in the Ljubljana Marsh. The prioritisation of species provides guidelines for park managers to know which aspects of biodiversity need to be protected. This work will be followed by recommendations for conservation measures which will set out how to protect these valuable species, as defined in the Ljubljana Marsh Action Plan.
Among those species recognised as priority species are all the geographic specialists that occur only at the Ljubljana Marsh or at some additional rare locations in Slovenia, as well as those on the IUCN Red List and in the Appendices of the Habitat and Bird directives. The priority list includes all the Natura 2000 species in the area, whose importance was already recognised, but also adds over 400 species which were previously totally neglected in the nature conservation plans, despite being of great national importance. Among them are many species that are less charismatic such as molluscs, insects, spiders, and fungi.
The next step of the Action Plan, currently underway, is to pilot test the good practice developed by BID-REX partners in the UK in the Ljubljana Marsh.
Pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) is a Natura 2000 species and therefore listed as priority species for Ljubljana Marsh. Photo: Davorin Tome