The IBA comprises a flat basin and surrounding hills located near to the Polish border. The forest consists mainly of Picea, with some Abies and Pinus, and low-lying wet forest also occurs (Salix, Alnus and Populus). Large parts of the IBA have been deforested and subsequently converted either to hay-meadow and pasture or to arable land. The Oravská reservoir lies in the centre of the IBA and supports dense water-fringe vegetation. The reservoir environs act as recreational and sport-fishing centres.
An important site for breeding species of forest and wet grassland; Oravská reservoir is a stop-over site for migrating waterbirds. Ciconia ciconia, Porzana porzana, Alcedo atthis, Riparia riparia and Lanius excubitor also breed. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (3-6 passage individuals).
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Horna Orava. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/12/2019.