In 2004, upon entering the EU, Slovenia designated special protection areas (Natura 2000 areas), which include the Branica river valley. The area also includes the Upper Branica river basin with the southern part of Vipavska brda. This is a feeding area for bats that have their maternity colonies at the Rihemberk castle. The area is covered by protected streams and other water environments, dry grasslands and juniper groves. These are habitats of rare and endangered animals (e.g. Italian agile frog, yellow-bellied toad, Balkan goldenring dragonflies, stag beetle, Morimus funereus, Carabus variolosus Fabricius, etc.). A special characteristic of the Branica valley are also the high-trunk orchards (one is located below the Santei estate). These trees provide a suitable habitat for rare species of birds, such as hoopoe and little owl.


Publication »Natura 2000 v dolini Branice« in Slovenian:

Publication »Natura 2000 in the Branica valley« in English:

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