Site details

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5 stars - Fully protected as a national park or Natura 2000 site by national legislation
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Nature Reserve Strunjan, Slovenia. Photo: L. Lipej

Synoptic description of site:

Sanctuaries located off the old city of Piran, high diversity of habitat types.

Extensive description of site:

The Nature Reserve Strunjan and the Natural Monument Cape Madona are two marine protected areas beneath typical flysch cliffs. Both sites are characterized by a variety of habitats and specific abiotic conditions which reflects the high biodiversity of the area.

Habitats present:
Littoral XX
Seagrass bedsX

Description of fauna and flora:

The intensive mapping and monitoring of the fauna and flora of the Slovenian coastal sea has been ongoing since1998. To date at least 1,700 species of animals have been recorded from the area.

Human impact:

The sites are face some anthropogenic impacts such as shipping, angling and bathing. Despite the protected status of both sites, the illegal harvesting of protected mussels is still ongoing.


All facilities are available in the nearby Marine Biology Station, which is equipped for all aspects of biodiversity research (laboratories, SCUBA diving facilities, research equipment, boats and ships).

Available database and website:

The inventory of fauna and flora is held at the Marine Biology Station (NIB). The websites regarding both marine protected areas are available at and


Commitment and ongoing research:

The Marine Biology Station Piran (National Institute of Biology) is undertaking biodiversity research at the proposed sites and in other parts of the Gulf of Trieste (northern Adriatic).

Additional Information:

7) Biogeographic representativeness a. Occurrence of some internationally recognized rare species in the area (according to the RAC/SPA Protocol) b. Unique habitats in the northernmost part of the Adriatic (and Mediterranean as well)(for example precoralligen) c. Due to the high diversity of habitats, its depth range and peculiar geologic and geomorphologic properties, the site could be descriped as a biodiversity hotspot for the northern Adriatric. d. Due to its particular fauna and flora the site is considered to be of special interest for the state and for the region.