|Plant and animal life|
Slovenia’s biodiversity is evident: although it comprises just 0.004% of the Earth’s surface, it is home to more than 1% of all living creatures, and more than 2% of land and freshwater creatures. Slovenia is the third-most forested country in Europe. The forests are home to edible wild mushrooms, and a large population of bears, who generally avoid humans.
To make contact with wild animals in Slovenia you need only go to the edge of the forest, just outside the towns. There are plenty of roe deer in the forests, and they wander close to the towns and villages. There is a good chance of seeing a smaller animal of some type, such as a squirrel. The brown bear also lives in Slovenia’s forests. As they range throughout the forests as far as Bosnia and Herzegovina, their actual number is not known, but it is estimated that about 700 bears live in Slovenia. As of the last decade they are no longer endangered, but it is nevertheless rare that individuals are shot. Bears generally prefer to avoid humans, and your chance of encountering a bear in the wild is extremely slim. Many other very rare and endangered animal species inhabit the forests, such as the wolf, the lynx, the wildcat, the capercaillie and the pheasant. These are all protected. The ibex is also protected, and can be seen in the mountains. Slovenia’s rivers, lakes and coastal waters are home to a diversity of species. Alongside numerous fish species, some clean rivers are still inhabited by freshwater crayfish, which are highly endangered. Many bird species nest in Slovenia, while it is also a vital habitat for migratory species. The landscape parks are the best place to see large numbers of birds.