Bukovnica Lake

Lutra, Institute for Conservation of Natural Heritage participated as a partner in the project Bukovnica Lake – awaking Beauty (slo. Bukovniško jezero – prebujajoča se lepotica), co-financed by the Phare program (cross-border cooperation Slovenia / Austria 2003 – Cross-border conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development).

The Bukovnica Lake, supplied by Bukovnica creek, is in protected area of ​​the Goričko Nature Park and a part of the important ecological area and the Natura 2000 area, both under regulations Birds and Habitat Directive. The aim of the project was to raise awareness and change the attitude of the local population (pre-school and school youth, owners and users of agricultural / forest land, rural population) and tourists who gravitate towards Bukovnica Lake, towards values ​​and conservation of nature. We wanted to explore at least the essential elements of biodiversity and evaluate it, demonstrate the possibilities for sustainable tourism, agriculture and forestry in the light of improving the quality of life in the countryside. With the plan of interpreting the area of Bukovnica ​​Lake as a natural value within the Goričko Nature Park and the Natura 2000 area, arranging an information center, preparing presentations for individual target groups on various media, preparing and implementing promotional campaigns for Natura 2000 (eg. an astronomical youth camp, helping amphibians in spring migration), we wanted to reach every individual and influence his attitude towards nature and natural values.

The purpose of the project was also to show acceptable forms of tourism and recreation that do not endanger the habitats of the Bukovnica Lake and imporatant European species, and to establish mutual communication between the managers of the area and the interested public. Due to the lack of data on the biodiversity of the Bukovnica Lake and Bukovnica creek field inventory of selected animal species and groups in the project area with the proposal for monitoring and the starting point for the management plan (including the proposal of the individual species from the list of European important species) was required firstly. We considered the following animal groups: mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, fish, aquatic invertebrates (the criterion for the range of species was primarily the importance of them for assessing the quality of the aquatic ecosystem and water). Within these frameworks, special attention has been paid to important European species  in the Annexes of the Habitat Directive and the Birds Directive, in particular the qualifying species for the Natura 2000 area of ​​Goričko (Goričko is also the IBA – International Important Area for Birds). Despite expectations, we have not discovered a particularly rich species biodiversity linked to aquatic habitats. Among Europe’s most important species, amphibians were the most important, among them the qualitative species for the Goričko area, the big pupae (Triturus carnifex); The found urchins were crosses (Bombina bombina x variegate). Apart from the collared flycather (Ficedula albicollis) among the 32 mapped species of birds, there were no special species. Among mammals the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), which is also a qualification species for the definition of the Natura 2000 site, took a special place. Although it was not on the lake in the observed season, it regularly appeared in the Bukovnica creek along the regional road.

After the inventory of the aquatic invertebrate fauna and the measurement of physical and chemical parameters in 2005 (LIFE-NATURA project), we estimated that the quality of water in the Bukovnica Lake due to the long-standing eutrophication process was of very poor quality, which is why the plans for management and exploitation (mainly for the purpose of tourism) are limited. Recommendations for the management plan were directed in two directions: in the rehabilitation of the ecological state of the lake with sustainable methods and in education and awareness of various target groups of the public about the importance of natural values ​​in the area around the Bukovnica Lake and in the wider Goričko region.


Title: The Lake of Bukovnik – awaking Beauty

Applicant: Municipality of Dobrovnik


  • Naturpark Südtsteirisches Weinland (Austria)
  • Naturpark Raab (Austria)
  • Institute for Food Safety and Consumer Protection ZAZA Dobrovnik
  • Institute for Tourism Dobrovnik
  • LUTRA, Institute for Conservation of Natural Heritage – OE Lutra Pannonica
  • Bilingual Primary School Dobrovnik
  • Cultural Association Petõfi Sandor
  • Goričko Nature Park
  • Agriculture and Forestry Chamber of Slovenia
  • Agricultural and Forestry Institute Murska Sobota
  • Slovenia Forest Service OE Murska Sobota

Funding program: Phare – cross-border cooperation Slovenia / Austria 2003 – Cross-border conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development

Duration: from June 2005 to September 2006