Krakovo forest and Šentjernej plain

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
Krakovo forest is one of the largest intact examples of lowland alluvial forest to remain in Slovenia. Totally uninhabited and almost untouched by man, it lies in the central Krško valley, on the left bank of the Krka river, between Radulja and Velikovaški potok stream. The Ljubljana-Zagreb highway runs along the northern border of the site. The Krka river draws off upwelling groundwater from the IBA, which is permanently waterlogged, and there are many small streams along the edge of the forest, some of which are regulated. Broadleaved deciduous trees (especially Quercus) dominate the forest. The mean age of trees is 150 years, and the largest Salix alba tree and one of the largest Quercus robur trees in the country occur here. There are also well-preserved marshes, meadows and wet grasslands. Human settlements and intensively farmed land occur outside the IBA.

Key biodiversity
Two specialists of deciduous broadleaved woodland breed in important numbers. A total of 44 certain or probable breeding species have been recorded in the forest and in the immediate surroundings, including numerous nationally important species such as Aquila pomarina (the only known breeding locality in Slovenia).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Groundwater-levels have fallen over the whole IBA by 1 m, due to drainage in the surrounding Krško karst field, and this is the main reason behind the death of old oak Quercus trees. Other threats to water quality and quantity are the intensive use of pesticides on the Krško karst field, a planned chain of hydroelectric power-stations along the Sava river, and the extension of a road in the direction of Zamesko-Malence. Ornithologically, Krakovski forest is not well known.

Protected areas
National Low International None41 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Krakovski gozd, 41 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Krakovo forest and Šentjernej plain. Downloaded from on 24/09/2020.