Butterfly Tour Slovenia

Europe/Slovenia Butterfly tour

Large Blues and Ringlets amidst the finest European scenery

Triglav NP and the Őrség NP, 8 days

Snowy mountain tops or dry grasslands? Both can be found in Slovenia, a small country on the border zone of Central and Southern Europe. Slovenia is very rich in forests and other natural landscapes, which host many butterfly species that are rarely seen in other countries, especially the mountain ringlets. Purple Emperor and Poplar Admiral are among the commoner butterfly species that inhabit the lower slopes of the mountains. During the first 5 days of the butterfly tour in Slovenia, we target to see a large variety of these rarities, also the beautiful lake of Bohinj, Triglav National park, the true wilderness of the alpine zone of the Julian Alps. As a special addition to this, the last three days will be spent in a very different area on the Slovenian-Hungarian border, where all four Large Blue species co-occur in the Landscape Park of Goričko and the Őrség National Park of Western Hungary. As Ecotours Wildlife Holydays is committed to support butterfly conservation work, 5% of the profit will be donated to the Hungarian Natural Heritage Trust, which is working on the protection and sympathetic management of habitats of the Large Blues in the Őrség National Park.

Facts

Highlights

Hotels

3 nights at in Podgorje
2 night by Mount Mangart
2 nights in Őrség NP

Departure Dates

July

Price

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1

After arrival in Ljubljana we will visit mid-altitude woodlands, which are home for many forest butterflies, including Camberwell Beauty, Purple Emperor, Silver-washed, High Brown and Dark Green Fritillaries. There is a chance to see Poplar Admiral as well. Overnight: Podgorje

2

We explore sub-mediterranean habitats around Podgorje with dry grasslands and pusbescent oak - manna ash woodlands on limestone. Many lycaenids are common here, including Adonis Blue, Chalk-hill Blue, but rarer satyrids like False Grayling are also present. In the afternoon we drive to Slavnik, a limestone mountain with stunning views over Koper Bay. Great Sooty Satyr lives on the rocky southern face of the mountain. The mountain grasslands of Slavnik also host populations of our first Maculinea, the Large Blue. Overnight: Podgorje

3

We visit Mount Nanos, a lone standing hill with an extremely rich butterfly fauna including the first Maculinea, the Alcon Blue and the elusive and rare Styrian Ringlet. Niobe Fritillary and Southern Small White are also possible on the southern rocky slopes. In the afternoon we drive down to the Adriatic Sea. The target species are the Mediterranean Long-tailed Blue, Lang’s Short-tailed Blue, Cardinal and Cleopatra. Overnight: Podgorje

4-5

After driving north, we dedicate the rest of the day and the following day to explore sub-alpine and alpine habitats and their butterflies. 16 species of Ringlet occur in Slovenia’s higher mountains and there is a good chance to see quite a few of them on the alpine meadows and rocky slopes, but their activity depends on the season and weather, and some species are local and elusive. We hope to find Yellow Spotted Ringlet, Mountain Ringlet and some other commoner species, while Sooty Ringlet and the endemic Lorkovic’s Brassy Ringlet are more local, confined to rocky alpine grasslands. Other sub-alpine and alpine species found here are: Mountain Green-veined White, Geranium Argus and Alpine Blue. Overnight: Mangart area

6

Today we leave the alpine region behind and after a few hours drive we arrive to the Goričko Landscape Park, which together with the Őrség National Park in Western Hungary is home of the four Large Blues. In the afternoon hours we are already in “Maculinea country” with all 4 species possible, but we will start searching for the Scarce Large Blue and Dusky Large Blue first. The Large Blues will be introduced by the renowned butterfly specialist and conservationist Szabolcs Sáfián (aka Safi), who works with the Hungarian Natural Heritage Trust, which protects and manages important Maculinea habitats in Western Hungary. Overnight: Őrség NP, Hungary

7

Full day butterfly hunting in various places in the Goričko-Őrség area with high chances for the other Maculineas Large Blue and Alcon Blue. Other interesting species widespread in the area are Purple-edge Copper, Common Glider, Spotted Fritillary and Tufted-marbled Skipper. In the night of this day a special fundraising moth trapping is organized near the hotel for the tour participants to show the extremely rich moth fauna of the Goričko-Őrség area and also to raise financial support for the NGO that is very active in protecting their habitats. Szabolcs Sáfián (Safi) will guide you throughout the night with tasting Hungarian wines, making it an unforgettable event. (Obviously, moth activity highly depends on the weather conditions, but weather is usually nice and warm in July). As Ecotours Wildlife Holydays is committed to support conservation activities, we will double the amount of raised donation to help the work of the Hungarian Natural Heritage Trust. Overnight: Őrség NP, Hungary

8

Before heading back to Ljubljana, we might have a chance to see the elusive and sought after Freyer’s Purple Emperor on the Slovenian-Hungarian border in the riparian woodlands of the River Mura, but the chance of sighting depends pretty much on the season.

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