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Location Slovenia, Dolenjska
Central coordinates 14o 52.00' East  45o 35.00' North
IBA criteria B2, C6
Area 99,520 ha
Altitude 150 - 1,298m
Year of IBA assessment 2011

Drustvo Za Opazovanje in Proucevanje Ptic Slovenije

Site description Koèevsko-Kolpa is a huge area of limestone karst on the high Dinaric plateau in southern Slovenia. The coniferous, deciduous and mixed forests, which connect with Snežnik plateau and Gorski Kotar in Croatia, represent one of the largest and least populated areas of dense forest in Europe. Wooded land (including plantations) covers 95% of the area, and includes remnants of primeval forest, while pastures and grasslands cover 5%. The whole area was suddenly and almost entirely deserted by its inhabitants in 1941, and for political reasons many human settlements in the area remained abandoned after the Second World War. Formerly open areas (grasslands, orchards and villages) are thus reverting naturally to scrub and forest. The Kolpa river canyon on the international border has large cliffs on the southern slopes.

Key Biodiversity The site supports internationally important numbers of several SPECs of woodland/forest (even some boreal-type species). Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (1 resident pair, the only known nest in Slovenia).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Hazel Grouse Bonasa bonasia breeding  1994-2004  100-300 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus breeding  1994-1999  20-50 males only  C6  Least Concern 
Falco peregrinus breeding  2006-2010  6-7 breeding pairs  C6  Not Recognised 
Ural Owl Strix uralensis breeding  2000-2010  150-170 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Pygmy-owl Glaucidium passerinum breeding  1994-2004  20-30 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus breeding  1994-2004  50-80 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Dendrocopos leucotos breeding  1994-2010  10-15 breeding pairs  C6  Not Recognised 
Picoides tridactylus breeding  1999-2004  30-40 breeding pairs  C6  Not Recognised 
Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla breeding  1994-1999  150-200 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva breeding  1994-2004  20-50 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Koèevski pragozdovi Nature Reserve 218 protected area contained by site 218  
Krka - SI3000227 Habitats Directive 1,339 protected area is adjacent to site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland  80%
Shrubland Scrub  5%
Artificial - terrestrial Forestry plantations; Highly improved re-seeded landscapes  15%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 5%
forestry 90%
hunting 3%
military 2%

Protection status National Low International None218 ha of IBA covered by six Nature Reserves (Koèevski pragozdovi [`virgin forest remnants'], 218 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kočevsko. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife