During the preceding two decades, the total wetland area in Slovakia had declined dramatically and the vast majority of remaining natural and semi-natural wetlands were seriously threatened by human activities. The main cause of the decline were changes in the natural water regime, brought about by extensive drainage, peat extraction and land-reclamation schemes - mostly to provide more agricultural land, but also as part of intensification of forest management.
The changes had led to a decline in habitats and species associated with the wetlands and a reduction of the retention capacity of the areas concerned. Many species that were once common - such as amphibians or storks - had become rare, some of them even locally extinct. One of the most valuable remaining wetlands is located in the Zahorie Lowland, which is also one of the most important regions in Slovakia for biodiversity in general.