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Although Slovenia is a small country, different influences interact there. The Alps are in the north (namely, Julian Alps, Karavanke, Kamnik Alps), the Dinarides lie in the south, and there is also a small part of Pannonian plain and a Littoral Region. It also has Karst - a very rich underground world. Postonjska cave

Diverse flora and fauna are found there.

As mentioned above, half of the country (53%) is covered by forest. Forests are an important natural resource, but their true value lies in this preserved natural diversity, their ecological (protection of the soil, water and air) and social (tourism and recreation) functions, and the beauty they lend to the Slovenian landscape. In the interior there are typical Central European forests (oak and beech, in the mountains spruce, fir and pine). The tree-line is at 1,700-1,800 metres (5,575–5,900 ft).

Pine grows also on the Karst plateau. The Karst and White Carniola are well known for the mysterious proteus.

Only one third of Kras is now covered by pine forest. It is said that most was cut long ago to make wooden pylons on which the city of Venice now stands.

The lime (linden) tree, another common inhabitant of Slovenian forests, is also a national symbol.

The national proverb says: "A true Slovenian must raise a child, write a book and plant a tree."

In the Alps, the most beautiful flowers are spurge laurel (Daphne blagayana), different gentians (Clusius' gentian - Gentiana clusii, Froelich's gentian - Gentiana froelichi), avrikelj or lepi jeglič (Primula auricula), edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum, the symbol of Slovenian mountaineering), lepi čeveljc (Cypripedium calceolus), Močvirska logarica or marsh tulip (Fritillaria meleagris), velikonočnica (Pulsatilla grandis).

Fauna include marmot (introduced), steinbocks, and chamois. There are numerous deer, roe deer, boar and hares. The loir or fat dormouse is often found in Slovenian beech forests. Hunting these animals is a long tradition and is well described in the book The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (Slava Vojvodine Kranjske) (1689), written by Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693). Some important carnivores include the Eurasian lynx (reintroduced to Kočevje area in 1973), European wild cat, fox (especially the red fox), and jackal. There are also hedgehogs, and different species of marten, snakes (viper, grass snake, etc.). As of March 2005, Slovenia also has a limited population of wolves and about 400 brown bears.

There is a variety of birds: the tawny owl, long-eared owl and Eagle Owl, hawks, Short-toed Eagle and other birds of prey, but also other birds such as the woodpecker (black and green woodpecker). The white stork nests in Prekmurje.

The autochthonous fish Soča trout is found in Slovenia. There are dolphins in the Adriatic Sea, but also whales canLipicanec

appear here, although very rarely.

Domestic animals originating in Slovenia include the Carniolan honeybee, the autochthonous Karst Sheepdog and the Lipizzan horse breed.


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Slovensko zdravniško društvo
Sekcija za preventivno medicino
Dunajska 162
1000 Ljubljana


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