The Habitats Directive, which came into effect in 1992, defined types of habitats, as well as animal and plant species whose existence must be maintained by defining Special protection areas. These areas are, in addition to the areas from The Bird Directive, part of the Natura 2000 network. In the Goričko Natura 2000 area, protected status was assigned to 1 plant species, 7 habitat types and 24 animal species.
The extremely small, only 3 mm large narrow-mouthed whorl snail (Vertigo angustior) lives on wet meadows. Streams and brooks are inhabited by common spined loach (Cobitis elongatoides), brook lamprey (Eudontomyzon spp.) and European bitterling (Rhodeus sericeus amarus). The presence of bitterling is dependent solely upon the thick-shelled river mussel (Unio crassus), up to 7 cm large clam.
In canopies of exuberant willows lives hermit beetle (Osmoderma eremita). Forests are inhabited by beetle species Cucujus cinnaberinus, Carabus variolosus and common stag beetle (Lucanus cervus). Jersey tiger (Callimorpha quadripunctaria) is a night butterfly that is active daily and can be seen on holy rope plants growing in forest clearings. Flyovers over meadows are done by large copper (Lycaena dispar), marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia), scarce large blue (Phengaris teleius) and dusky large blue (Phengaris nausithous). Danube clouded yellow (Colias myrmidone) is most probably extinct on Goričko. Shadowy streams are the habitat of dragonfly species balkan goldenfly (Cordulegaster heros). Waters are kingdom of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra).
Larger bogs are habitats of Italian crewsted newt (Triturus carniflex), while the smaller sprouts and puddles get inhabited by yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata).
There are five bat protected species. These are greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis), lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolopus hipposideros) and common bent-wing bat (Miniopterus schreibersii) can be found in buildings, pits and cellars. In forests live wester barbastelle (Barbastella barbastella) and Bechsteins bat (Myotis bechsteinii).