Ormož Basins Nature Reserve

Ormož Basins, a 55 hectares wetland of anthropogenic origin, lies within the Drava River ecosystem by the Ormož Lake. It consists of shallow pools with reeds and rushes, surrounded by flooded forest, a rare remainder of an extensive riparian forests in Slovenia. The wetland is of exceptional national and international significance for many endangered bird species.


Birds in Ormož Basins

Ormož Basins are an important waterbird nesting site and a key rest stop for migratory birds in Slovenia. 29 breeding waterbird species have been spotted here, including endangered and rare species such as little bittern, little crake, ferruginous duck, black-winged stilt, common redshank and common tern.

During migration, 30 species appear regularly, sometimes numbering as much as ten thousand birds, among which wood sandpiper and ruff are the most numerous.

Status and Size of Bird Species Populations in Ormož Basins Nature Reserve (pdf)

Occurrence of Bird Species in Ormož Basins Nature Reserve (pdf)

Establishing the Nature Reserve

The Beginnings of a Lasting Fruitful Cooperation

In the 1980s, DOPPS members already recognized the importance of the former wastewater disposal pools of the Ormož Sugar Factory for birds. With the help of environmentally conscious factory employees and DOPPS volunteers, we undertook measures such as building breeding rafts for common terns, adjusting the water regime and introducing late mowing of the embankments, thus creating a real focal point of ornithological diversity in Slovenia and an important Natura 2000 core area.

The Closing of the Factory and the Former Owners’ Exceptional Gesture

As a result of the EU sugar sector reform, the factory was in the process of closing. DOPPS immediately proposed the idea to turn the area into the nature reserve in order to allow the exceptionally biodiverse basins to remain protected. The management of the factory supported the idea, and the majority owner, the Dutch Royal Cosun corporation, agreed as well. On 2 March 2010, they donated the entire area to DOPPS for the establishment of a nature reserve.

The Vision of the Future Nature Reserve …

1. Preserving the Rich Biodiversity By Active Management

Achieving conversation goals in this area is only possible through active management. Thus, we can design and maintain the habitats of different bird species as well as those of other animal and plant species. Experience shows that to prevent overgrowth, humid habitats are most easily managed by grazing, which is why we released first 5 grazing animals – water buffalos.

2. A Genuine Experience of Nature, Education and a New Development Opportunity

The future reserve’s organised infrastructure will be open to the public. We will enable a high quality nature experience by opening an educational trail with observatories and a visitors’ centre, both adapted for groups with special needs. An educational programme for youth and other groups will take place in the form of guided excursions.

As part of the tourist offer, the reserve will present an important acquisition for the municipality. The locals will be involved in both the management and the development of local products related to the reserve.

3. The Centre for Scientific Research

In addition to the regular monitoring of the birds’ status in Ormož Basins, which has been continuously performed for more than 15 years, we will set up a research station to track bird migrations in accordance with international standards. Here, research work and student field work will take place, but it will also present many opportunities to engage in voluntary work.

… Is Slowly Becoming Reality

In September 2012, DOPPS started implementing the LIVEDRAVA project, co-financed by the EU through the Life+ financial mechanism. Until 2017, the project will continue to realise the vision of a green future for Ormož Basins.

Ana Vaupotič

Education and Public Relations Coordinator
+386 (0)51 395 514