IBA Horná Orava

Horná Orava

Districts: Čadca, Dolný Kubín, Námestovo, Tvrdošín
Altitude: 600 m – 1725 m
Area: 661,62 km2


It is a mosaic mountainous country built by flysch rocks of Outer Western Carpathians that reaches to a number of orographic units. A substantial part of forests is occupied by spruce monocultures. Rare are mixed mountain forests and in the remote locations can be found spruce woods with primeval forest character. Massif of Babia hora and Pilsko exceeds the upper limit of the forest. There are unique waterlogged spruce – pine forests with lot of different kinds of wetlands, wet meadows and bogs. In the agricultural landscape dominate grasslands, often used extensively. Large water body of Orava dam has preserved and mostly shallow shores.

Area protection

IBA Horná Orava was designated a Special Protection Area (SPA) on April 6, 2005.    Other protected areas in the region of IBA Horná Orava: Protected Landscape Area Horná Orava


Ciconia nigra - Ján SvetlíkThe area is important for several bird species of coniferous forests and mountain foothills to a mosaic landscape with a predominance of permanent grassland, with many wetlands and peatlands (Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina), Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix/Tetrao tetrix), Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) and Corncrake (Crex crex)). Major migration routes of Western Carpathians cross the Orava Basin, while Orava dam is an important stop for many migrating waterfowl species and for species bound to water.

Qualifying species

Species Breeding population Criterion
Pop.min. Pop.max.
Black Stork – Ciconia nigra 32 56 C6
White Stork – Ciconia ciconia 41 59 C6
Honey Buzzard – Pernis apivorus 25 45 C6
Lesser Spotted Eagle – Aquila pomarina 47 73 C6
Black Grouse – Tetrao tetrix 65 75 C6
Capercaillie – Tetrao urogallus 110 140 C6
Spotted Crake – Porzana porzana 4 20 C6
Corncrake – Crex crex 140 180 C1
Common Tern – Sterna hirundo 25 45 C6
Eagle Owl – Bubo bubo 13 21 C6
Pygmy Owl – Glaucidium passerinum 150 300 C6
Common Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis 20 40 C6
Three-toed Woodpecker – Picoides tridactylus 20 180 C6

Other important species

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Hazel Grouse (Tetrastes bonasia/Bonasa bonasia), Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix), Little Crake (Porzana parva), Common Redshank (Tringa totanus), Ural Owl (Strix uralensis), Tengmalm’s Owl (Aegolius funereus), European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus), Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio), Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor)

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