Official webpage of the Hungarian meadow viper Life-project
(LIFE04NAT/HU/000116, LIFE07 NAT/H/000322)
The joining of Hungary enriched the European Union with several natural values. Among these values those are the most important that occur only in our country, like the Hungarian meadow viper. This small venomous snake disappeared from most of its known range during the last decades. Recently it is the most endangered member of the Hungarian vertebrate fauna, as estimations put its numbers under 500 individuals.
In 2004 the systematic and conceptual conservation program, running since 1993, has opened a new chapter in the story of Hungarian meadow viper. The common proposal under the name of “Establishing the background of saving the Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis) from extinction” by Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (MME BirdLife Hungary), Directorate of Kiskunság National Park (KNPI) and Directorate of Duna-Ipoly National Park (DINPI) was granted funding by the European Union LIFE-Nature Fund, providing 50% of the four year program’s budget (2004-2007).
The end of LIFE-funding did not mean termination of the conservation program. Furthermore the conservation effort is secured for the period between 2009 and 2013 thanks to funding by LIFE+ Fund. Beneficiaries of the “Conservation of Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis) in the Carpathian-basin” are Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (MME BirdLife Hungary), Directorate of Kiskunság National Park (KNPI), Directorate of Fertő-Hanság National Park (FHNPI), Budapest Zoo (FÁNK), Compound Eye Film (T.HU), and from Austria Nationalpark Neusiedler-see und Seewinkel (NNSS), Schönbrunn Zoo Vienna (TSV) and Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Vienna (FIWI).
Parts of the project are:
- land purchase on the species range;
- habitat enlargement through grassland reconstruction;
- creation and operation of Hungarian meadow viper Conservation and Exhibition Centre;
- repatriation of vipers from the breeding program;
- monitoring and related studies;
- public awareness activity;
- survey about the species and the conservation program.