Autochthonous breeds

Autochthonous breeds

The wider area of the Triglav National Park is home to three native breeds of domesticated animals: Drežnica goats, Bovec sheep, and Cika cattle.

Preservation of these breeds is important for the following reasons:

  • the genetic aspect (it is a pool of certain characteristics which are important for breeding but have nearly disappeared from highly selected breeds);
  • the landscape aspect (these breeds are the most suitable for their habitats because they have fully adapted to the natural conditions, and as such they can best preserve the cultural landscape);
  • the cultural and ethnological aspect (these breeds are a result and a living proof of long-term successful breeding practices in a certain area, which makes them valuable in terms of culture and ethnology).

Drežnica goats

The Drežnica goat is the only indigenous goat breed in Slovenia. It originates from the north-eastern part of the country, from the area of Drežnica and Bovec. Owing to a very small population and the impact of other breeds, Drežnica goats are currently found on the list of endangered breeds.

It is a combined breed, characterised by high resistance and ability to adapt to extensive breeding. Its physical characteristics are those important for breeding in mountain areas. The Drežnica can be subdivided into the Drežnica meat breed and Drežnica milk breed.

Bovec sheep

The breed is indigenous to Zgornje Posočje (Upper Soča Valley). This native breed remains linked to its area of origin, although its high adaptability has enabled it to spread to other parts of Slovenia. The breed has a firm genetic code, which proves that it is an old breed, carefully selected by experienced herdsmen generation after generation.

Up to the present day, the breed has followed its main goal: adaptability to harsh and modest breeding conditions, ability to graze in hilly and mountain pastures, calm temperament, longevity and resistance.


Cika cattle have evolved from the light red single-coloured cattle. In the second half of the 19th century, the cows of indigenous breed were crossbred with the Pinzgauer.

The variety of the breed which lives in Zgornje Posočje (Upper Soča Valley) is called the Tolmin Cika cattle. The animals are red, with a typical white strip.As Cika cattle is highly adaptable, small in size and weight, it is suitable for breeding in mountainous regions, where conditions are unfavourable for grazing and production of fodder.