Nordens Ark – a university conservation field station

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Abstract

Nordens Ark is a non-profit foundation aiming to provide self-sustainable viable populations of threatened species through conservation breeding and reintroduction programmes. In 2001, an important decision was made to be part of a scientific society with close contacts to universities, and to appoint a professor in conservation biology as the scientific leader. Together with the universities, new programmes were developed where traditional academic knowledge could be combined with the experience and practical hands-on knowledge of the zoo world. Components of these programmes are held at Nordens Ark on a contracted basis. Nordens Ark has developed international research schools together with Gothenburg University, and conservation aspects of threatened wild animal species and domestic breeds provide the overarching theme. Nordens Ark has successfully taken part in breeding and reintroduction programmes for, among others, the White-backed woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos, the Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus, the Lesser white-fronted goose Anser erythropus, the Green toad Bufo viridis and the Fire-bellied toad Bombina bombina. Nordens Ark has also been contracted by national and international conservation authorities or organizations to ensure that the best possible conservation measures are taken when conflicts arise between infrastructure projects and the conservation of threatened species.

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