Natura 2000 is the most ambitious nature conservation programme of the European Community. A legislation basis has been adopted from Council Directive 79/409/EEC (“Birds Directive”), final provisions were set in Council Directive 92/43/EEC all for the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (“Habitats Directive”). The concept of the programme is to establish a coherent network across the EU, consisting of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated under the Birds Directive and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) designated under the Habitats Directive. Both categories form an ecological network named Natura 2000.
The Smrekovec highland ridge is proposed as Natura 2000 site within the area of the Kamniško-Savinjske Alps and the Eastern Karavanken. With 14 important birds it is proclaimed as a Special Protection Area. A pygmy owl, a black grouse, a capercaillie, a tengmalm's owl, a hazel grouse are just a few of them. Every fourth pygmy owl of Slovenia lives in this area. A capercaillie has right here the greatest density of its couple places in Slovenia. Apart from birds, the area is proposed also by the Habitats Directive. Important habitats are: the Illyrian beech forest where Rosalia alpina lives, scrubs with Pinus mugo, alpine heaths and highland pasture meadows, residual alluvial forests with Alnion glutinosa – incanae, copse of alders and ashes are important as well.
Natura 2000 policy strives for balance interests between the nature and the economical development, for a proper orientation of all activities in the area, above all for tourism and forest management which should be maintained at the favourable conservation status. In most cases this means to keep on with the present area use. Only a diverse and preserved nature environment is an impulse for the sustainable area use.
Natura 2000 site encompasses a territory of 10 municipalities from the region of Koroška to Gorenjska. The central part belongs to the Kamniško-Savinjske Alps and the Eastern Karavanken (the Smrekovec highland ridge, the mountains Raduha and Olševa, the peaks from Ojstrica across the Kamnik pass till Grintovec).
Some species which have proposed the area as a Natura 2000 site: