The nature reserve area Vellacher Kotschna with rare fauna and flora is one of the largest protected areas within the NATURA 2000 network in Carinthia. The main protection target is conservation of the unique biotic assemblage in the area. The area is also known as a starting point for numerous cross-border hiking tours to the Steiner Alps (Slovenia). Increasing interest in outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking, however, reveal new opportunities for future development based on considerate and sustainable management.
Location and size: Austria, Municipality of Bad Eisenkappel. A 586-hectare area is situated in a high valley basin representing the most southern part of Austria.
Status: Protected Area of Special Interest (PSCI) NATURA 2000
Project partner active in the area:
Issues / challenges:
- The reserve has no comprehensive management plan.
- Decreasing agricultural utilization causes the expansion of shrub and forest vegetation.
- Rural areas close to the border with Slovenia, shows strong migration and increasing superannuating of the population.
- Decreasing economic power and the diminution of local infrastructure are present.
- Prepared documentation of the current status of the protected area.
- A drawn-up management plan for the protected area.
- Capacity building increased: organisation of trainings to provide skills for the participatory and integrated approach to the planning process and the implementation of joint strategies.
- Established cross-sector networks, prepared regional, interregional or cross-border development strategies and networks for protected areas according to various needs of the pilot area.
For more information please see those links: