Because of the inaccessibility and sustainable forest management, the Javorniki hills are populated with all three species of beasts that live in Slovenia. While cautious wolves and shy lynxes persistently avoid the human eye, encounters with bears are more or less an everyday thing...
A pack of wolves maintains the natural balance through a coordinated and continued hunt of old or injured hoofed mammals. Meanwhile, lynx is patiently waiting in ambush on its favourite rock. Bear, Slovenia's largest beast, gets its way in autumn when it feeds on beechnuts and is lured from the forest by fish caught in the puddles of the draining lake, and by the ripe common pears in high-trunk orchards.
Beechnuts help other animals prepare for winter as well. The loudest among them are dormice. They are appetising to wildcats, martens, owls and even dormouse hunters who traditionally trap them in autumn.
Forest bats species, which flutter after the flying insects at night, spend the day in the safety of their holes or cracks in old trees, but, in winter, they usually retreat to caves and pits.
The well-preserved beech and fir forests are also immensely important for the endangered forest birds, and this is the reason why the Javorniki hills have been included in the Natura 2000 Network.
During the day, European honey buzzard glides between the trees and peregrine falcon sets on a hunt from a ledge. Black, grey-headed, Eurasian three-toed and white-backed woodpeckers relentlessly dig beetle and butterfly grubs out of tree barks, declare their territory by hammering on hollow branches, and drill holes in trees. Black stork has found its nesting ground in the most remote part of the forest. When Eurasian pygmy owl, quite the character among owls, goes to bed, its larger relatives wake up: Ural, Eurasian eagle and Boreal owl. Indeed, here is never boring.
|Number of large beast species:||3|
|Number of qualifying bird species to designate Lake Cerknica as a Natura 2000 Site:||11|