ljubljansko barje

Barje meadows

The abundance of water and particularly the extensive network of drainage channels with well-developed water vegetation are home to glittering, gaily coloured and skilful fliers - dragonflies. Many amongst the 48 species that inhabit Ljubljansko Barje are considered endangered, but here their populations are still fairly numerous.

In spring nights, we can hear vivacious European Tree Frogs' croaking echoing all over the Barje. The interlacement of different types of standing and running waters is extremely important for numerous amphibians. At Ljubljansko Barje, we shall find no less than seventy percent of all species living in Slovenia, such as Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata), Alpine Crested Newt (Triturus carnifex), European Tree Frog (Hyla arborea) and Green Toad (Bufo viridis). The amphibians that prefer forests as their home, warn us with their yearly marches over the roads on the edge of Ljubljansko Barje that this place is an important breeding site to them.

Its delicious flesh and consequently its overhunting have been almost fatal for one of the rare Barje reptiles, the European Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis). At the end of the 19th century, this delicacy could be regularly bought at the Ljubljana Market.

The meadows of Ljubljansko Barje are green for a rather short period, as in early spring they are overlaid by a dark red carpet of Snakeshead Lilies (Fritillaria meleagris) and glittering yellow Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris). Later on, they are filled with white infructescences of Cottongrass (Eriophorum sp.), Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) and Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). Amongst them, several species of meadow orchids burst into blossom, such as Early Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata), Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata), Lax-flowered Marsh Orchid (Orchis palustris), Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea) and, in places, the already endangered Fen Orchid (Liparis loeselii). During the summer, the flowers of Betony (Betonica officinalis) tinge the Barje meadows red, while in the autumn, the gentle white flowers of Bog Star (Parnassia palustris) begin to bloom as the last one in the year. All these variegated colours are supplemented by the chirping of insects and singing of birds.