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Foto: Zvona Ciglič
Regional Museum Koper

“Karstic ponds as net of water biotopes” project is an international project in which 4 NGOs from Slovenia and Croatia cooperate. It is mostly supported through the "People in Nature" Programme of Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC). 

Karst ponds are almost sole ground stagnant water in southern Slovenia and southwestern Croatia (Istria). They are therefore very important as network of water biotopes (for survival of different animal and plant species) and as well as natural and cultural heritage. Because of the changes in the way of living during last decades, these ponds are drying up. 

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Foto: Archive of
Regional Museum Koper

For the efficient protection, the inventory of ponds is needed, and public awareness should be raised with lectures, workshops, camps and publications.

Main goals of the project are: inventory of karst ponds, publication of an introductory leaflet, a final report about ponds and connected problems, organization of a camp, lectures and workshops on the pond topics and consequently, raising public awareness.

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More about the project:

Karstic ponds as net of water biotopes
The activity area of the project
Goals of the project "Karstic ponds as net of water biotopes"
Follow-up to "Karstic ponds as net of water biotopes"
Why co-operation?
Partner NGOs


Presentation of the pond database:

Inventory of ponds is stated as the primary object of the “Karstic ponds as net of water biotopes” project. The growing database is presented here. There are 484 ponds in the database at this moment, 191 of them with pictures. On the map, every point represents a pond. With "Zoom In" and "Zoom Out" buttons, you can close in or out on the ponds. By selecting the "Identify" button and clicking on a point, in the frame at the right side of the screen, you’ll see a picture of the pond and some selected data. Page is optimised for 1024 x 768 resolution. It is made with JShape 2.18 that support only IE 4.0+, Netscape 4.06+ browsers. Please be patient if downloading takes some time. If you have an older browser or can't see the page for some other reasons, you can check out the simplified presentation.


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For those with older browsers and other problems:

[Overview]  

Karstic ponds as net of water biotopes


“Kal” is Slovene and “lokva” Croatian expression for the typical human made karstic pond. These ponds are almost sole ground stagnant fresh water bodies in Karst and Bela Krajina, on the Slovenian coast and in Istria establishing a real network of water biotopes in the region. They are essential for survival of different animal and plant species, living in water and marshy-like biotopes. 

The problem of ponds as threatened water biotopes is known all over Europe for some time. In the karst and flysch landscapes in Slovenia and Croatia we need to pay even more concern to the disappearing Karst ponds because of the general lack of water resources. In the last years the number of ponds has decreased, especially due to destruction and drying up. The latter is a consequence of the fact that traditional way of life has changed - farmers do not use ponds anymore as watering places for cattle, as source of drinking water or water supply for fire fighting. Therefore we have to “recognise” these ponds as valuable cultural and natural heritage sites. Raising public awareness of the problem is very important. 

The protection of only few ponds is not enough for the long term solution of the problems mentioned above. The constant monitoring, restoration and management of this biotic network is needed. The first step in the process is an inventory of ponds, an assessment of pond conditions in the area and a survey of their fauna and flora. Amphibians, dragonflies, caddisflies, crustaceans and plants (marsh and aquatic plants) are good indicator groups for ecological assessment of these threatened water biotopes. For many species karst ponds are the only available habitat in the area. In whole Europe amphibian decline is well known problem because of pollution and especially destruction of their biotopes.

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The activity area of the project


A map of the region; highlighted is the activity area of the project.

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Goals of the project "Karstic ponds as net of water biotopes"


to complete the inventory of ponds as accurate as possible (database of exact pond
localities with photographs and basic assessment of pond conditions); (See it!!)
to raise public awareness about the importance of appropriate management and
conservation of wet biotopes such as karst ponds;
to carry out environmental education programmes for different target groups on pond
subject;
to recruit new activists who would take care of ponds in future (local pond wardens);
to set up the internet web site with pond database for general usage;
use of compiled data as a source for further nature conservation work and consequently the direct use of results in future local and regional planning

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Follow-up to "Karstic ponds as net of water biotopes"


Establishing the "system" for pond managing in future, in which local inhabitants
(as pond wardens),branch/knowledge and state department will co-operate;
Extension of the pond database with detailed biological data on amphibians, dragonflies, caddisflies, crustaceans and (marsh and aquatic) plants;
Analysis of the compiled data, planning the necessary long-term activities (new proposals for eventual protection, needs for new ponds due to larger gaps and/or obstacles like highway, qualified management of ponds according to their importance in the net, further integration of the project in life of local communities);
Established and planned natural parks in Slovenia will benefit from all activities proposed in this project. The pond database will be available for preparation of the future management plans;
To extend the research of the ponds and their problematic to Italy

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Why co-operation?


We can find karst landscape in Italian Friuli Venezia Giulia, Slovenian Karst and Croatian Istria. Whole region share the common problem - lack of water - although the water itself has created this characteristic landscape where we can find many vulnerable biotopes. Karst ponds are one of them and they are drying up. And since such problems are not limited by state borders, co-operation between different countries can produce the best solution. 
We are convinced that co-operation between Slovenia and Croatia (Italy can not participate in REC programmes) will contribute to the overall success of the project and yield more results than if each country worked entirely alone. By enlarging the scope of the problem it is possible to gather and exchange much more information. 

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Partner NGOs

Centre for Cartography of Fauna and Flora
Antoličičeva 1, SI-2204 Miklavž na Dravskem polju, Slovenia
tel.: (+386 2) 629 51 50; fax: (+386 2) 629 51 51
Ljubljana office
Ljubljana, Zemljemerska 10, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
tel.: (+386 1) 438 24 40; fax: (+386 1) 438 24 45
e-mail: info@ckff.si; URL: http://www.ckff.si

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Societas herpetologica slovenica -
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles

Prešernova 20, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
fax: (+386 1) 251 88 46
e-mail: shs@pina.soros.si; URL: http://pina.soros.si/~shs/

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Croatian Herpetological Society - "Hyla"
c/o Hrvatski prirodoslovni muzej
Demetrova 1, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
tel.: (+385 1) 258 057; fax: (+385 1) 424 998
e-mail: hyla@hpm.hr

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Association Green Istria
Splitska 2, HR-52100 Pula, Croatia
Phone Number (+385 52) 575 161
fax: (+385 52) 32 570
e-mail: vesnapetrovic@hotmail.com

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