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Location Slovakia, Žilina
Central coordinates 19o 27.24' East  49o 27.52' North
IBA criteria C1, C6
Area 66,162 ha
Altitude 600 - 1,725m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Slovak Ornithological Society / BirdLife Slovakia

Site description The IBA comprises a flat basin and surrounding hills located near to the Polish border. The forest consists mainly of Picea, with some Abies and Pinus, and low-lying wet forest also occurs (Salix, Alnus and Populus). Large parts of the IBA have been deforested and subsequently converted either to hay-meadow and pasture or to arable land. The Oravská reservoir lies in the centre of the IBA and supports dense water-fringe vegetation. The reservoir environs act as recreational and sport-fishing centres.

Key Biodiversity An important site for breeding species of forest and wet grassland; Oravská reservoir is a stop-over site for migrating waterbirds. Ciconia ciconia, Porzana porzana, Alcedo atthis, Riparia riparia and Lanius excubitor also breed. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (3-6 passage individuals).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix breeding  1995-2003  65-75 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus breeding  1995-2003  110-140 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Black Stork Ciconia nigra breeding  1995-2003  32-56 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
White Stork Ciconia ciconia breeding  1995-2003  41-59 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Lesser Spotted Eagle Clanga pomarina breeding  1995-2003  47-73 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus breeding  1995-2003  25-45 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Corncrake Crex crex breeding  1995-2003  140-180 males only  C1  Least Concern 
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana breeding  1995-2003  4-20 males only  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  1995-2003  25-45 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Eagle-owl Bubo bubo breeding  1995-2003  13-21 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Pygmy-owl Glaucidium passerinum breeding  1995-2003  150-300 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis breeding  1995-2003  20-40 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Picoides tridactylus breeding  1995-2003  120-180 breeding pairs  C6  Not Recognised 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Horná Orava Protected Landscape Area 70,333 unknown 12,930  
Horna Orava Protected Landscape Area 58,738 protected area overlaps with site 14,445  
Jelesna National Nature Reserve 20 protected area contained by site 20  
Rudne Nature Reserve 2 protected area contained by site 2  
Slanicky ostrov Natural Monument 3 protected area contained by site 3  
Sosnina National Nature Reserve 161 protected area contained by site 161  
Vtaci ostrov Protected Site 2 protected area contained by site 2  
Wetlands of the Orava Basin Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 9,264 protected area contained by site 9,264  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest; Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland; Treeline ecotone  30%
Shrubland Heathland; Scrub  10%
Grassland Humid grasslands  5%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Raised bogs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  30%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry plantations; Other urban and industrial areas  25%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 25%
forestry 25%
water management 20%
urban/industrial/transport 5%
tourism/recreation 15%
hunting 75%

Protection status National Partial International PartialThe IBA partially or wholly overlaps with the following national designated areas. National Nature Reserves: Jelešòa, Sosnina. Nature Reserve: Rudné. Protected Landscape Area: Horná Orava. Protected Range: Vtáèí ostrov. Natural Monument: Slanický ostrov. 9,264 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Mokrade Oravskej kotliny (wetlands of the Oravská basin), 9,264 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Horna Orava. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016

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