Ormož, Slovenia – LIVE DRAVA Project – The restoration of the ecosystem of the lower part of the Drava River started in Slovenia in 2012 under the leadership of DOPPS and partners from the water management, energy sector and local municipalities. In the area of the basins and waste water treatment plant of the former sugar factory in Ormož, successful restoration was carried out through the project funded by European funds for nature protection of the LIFE + program.
Restoration through the manageable irrigation system from Ormož Lake on the Drava River creates new habitats for birds (e.g. nesting islands and free water surface) within the lagoons. The habitat management system includes water level regulation in the basins and grazing of 14 water buffalos that will prevent excessive growth of vegetation in the lagoons. A service facility as well as four bird watching towers were built. Also, old containers with a functional model for blind and partially sighted people was refurbished. A former processing plant for waste water has been transformed into a management center of the Reserve with an educational garden displaying nature conservation tips for every home.
The nature conservation of this area is dedicated to the protection of endangered wetland birds, which will have appropriate nesting habitats here. The area of Ormož Basins has a great national and international importance due to the appearance of a large number of bird species in the nesting and migration period. In the wider area of Ormož Basins, ornithologists have recorded 266 bird species by the end of 2016, which is 69% of all identified bird species in Slovenia says Dr. Damjan Denac, Director of DOPPS and LIVE DRAVA project manager.
Five representatives of the DRAVA LIFE project from Hrvatske vode VGO Varaždin and Green Osijek attended the official opening of the Ormož Basins Nature Reserve in Slovenia near the Drava River. All the present partners from LIVE DRAVA project thanked the colleagues of the neighbouring Croatian Life project on Drava River for participating.