Although wet meadows are becoming
increasingly rare and endangered due to heavy drainage and intensive farming, there are still some beautiful areas to be found in Slovenia. This habitat usually occurs along rivers and streams
(or lakes), especially those that flood regularly. In some cases such meadows were formed through centuries of human activity and deforestation. But the traditional way of farming allowed the
establishment of a high biodiversity. Preserving extensive grasslands through regular mowing and avoiding the scrubbing-over of land is the key to preserve these precious
habitats. Some examples of beautiful wet meadows in
Slovenia include those in the areas of the Nanoščica river basin, Planinsko polje, Cerkniško jezero, Bloško polje, Ljubljansko barje and the Reka valley.
Dry karstic grasslands, like the name
suggests, are found in the Karst region of western Slovenia. The Karst, or Kras in Slovene, is a limestone plateau lying in the northernmost part of the Adriatic sea. It
extends above the town of Trieste in northeast Italy and into western Slovenia. The area is known for its geological, geomorphological and speleological phenomena, known commonly as karstic
phenomena. The term “karst” became the technical term describing any karst area in the world, where the landscape is formed with the dissolution of soluble limestone and dolomite
rocks. The Karst’s most characteristic landscape is a stony grassland,
formed through four millenia of human activity: from deforestation to intensive grazing of livestock. Nowadays this kind of grassland is slowly giving way to forested areas, as grazing and land
use is being abandoned. Although semi-natural, such grasslands are among the most species rich habitats in Europe. They are included in EU’s Habitat Directive and classified as Eastern
sub-mediterranean dry grasslands.