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The wide variety of native wild animal species, their abundance and the diversity of their habitats are an exceptional value and an important natural asset of Slovenia. The direction of the development of individual game species populations is based on transparent and sustainable planning. The measures are prepared for ecologically delineated areas and in cooperation with all the users of such spaces, because, understandably, game management must be in line with the objectives of human activities.

By preparing well-considered measures and long-term plans for game management, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food contributes to maintaining game populations and their habitats at favourable levels. In order to achieve sustainable game management, concessions are granted and their implementation is controlled. The Ministry’s tasks also include providing funds for the damage caused by game in non-hunting areas and appointing members of commissions in the field of hunting and game wardens.

Regulation of hunting

Game species populations have an important role to play in the ecosystems due to their size, abundance, spatial distribution and development. For a variety of reasons, the self-regulating mechanisms which help natural ecosystems maintain balance are nowadays curtailed. As a result, and in view of the impact of certain species on the cultural landscape, populations have to be brought into line with human activities and are consequently identified as hunting populations. Game refers to wild animal species that can be hunted.

The game species in Slovenia include red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, chamois, alpine ibex, mouflon, wild boar, brown hare, alpine marmot, edible dormouse, nutria, muskrat, fox, raccoon dog, jackal, pine marten, stone marten, badger, grey partridge, common pheasant, mallard duck, jay, magpie and hooded crow.

Representatives of large carnivores – bear, wolf and lynx – are not referred to as game. Large carnivores are managed by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning.

In Slovenia, there are 411 hunting grounds and 12 special purpose hunting grounds in which game is managed by hunting clubs and operators of special purpose hunting grounds that are grouped together into regional associations for the purpose of the sustainable management of game. The umbrella organisation in the field of hunting is the Hunting Association of Slovenia, which brings together all hunting clubs and other societies whose activities relate to game, hunting and nature protection. The Slovenia Forest Service performs a public service in the area of game management, while the operators of hunting grounds and of special purpose hunting grounds perform certain tasks under public service conditions.

Surveillance in the hunting sector

The implementation of game-management plans is subject to control by hunting inspectors, who operate within the Inspectorate for Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting and Fisheries. The Inspectorate supervises the compliance with legal provisions, the implementation of concession contracts and game management plans and the work of game wardens.