At the south-western end of Slovenia, just above the Slovene-Croatian border, lies Istria Mediterranean pilot area, comprising of a hilly region with narrow river valleys and ravines and two natural monuments. The Dragonja river is the main water line, which floods the land in the whole pilot area. The river significantly shapes the flora and the fauna, which are deemed as disadvantageous due to the overgrowing of the grasslands, intensive farming, newly formed vineyards, the overgrowing of karstic ponds, and the introduction of fish in the ponds.
In this area, butterflies thrive in traditionally luscious dry grasslands, and orchids in dry calcareous meadows. Many meadows which are being overgrown boast with juniper. Karstic ponds, which were once seen as natural water holes and used by farming animals and by people alike, are now being overgrown, which is endangering the habitat of amphibians.
In this pilot area, Slovenia is one of the most northern points where one of the largest nonpoisonous snakes, four-lined snake, resides. Four-lined snake is one of the critically endangered species.
- Natura 2000 area: Slovenska Istra, SI3000212 - Habitats Directive
- Municipalities in Natura 2000 area: Koper, Piran
- Size: 5,248.68 ha
- Number of species: 16
- Number of habitat types: 5
- Management plans in the area: Forest management plan for Istria unit