Account of the Final Meeting of the Hungarian meadow viper LIFE+ project


The Final Workshop of the LIFE+ project, targeting Hungarian meadow viper conservation, was held at the Budapest Zoo on the 21st August, 2013. The now closing project is the sequel of the 2004-2007 LIFE project which was chosen among the top 5 European conservation programme in 2009.

After Miklós Persányi manager of the Budapest ZOO welcomed participants, Rick Shine from Sydney University talked about the importance of global snake conservation.

Besides employees of the programme itself and the partner organisations, famous conservation experts and herpetologists from abroad have also participated in the event. Evaluations of the actions and achievements in Hungary and presentations about the experiences of similar initiatives from abroad were among the lectures. Partakers also discussed the need and possibility of future cooperation.

Halpern Bálint a visszatelepítés tapasztalatairól beszél
Bálint Halpern talked about the practice of reintroduction.
Endre Sós talked about the veterinary aspects of the programme.

Participants had the chance to get acquainted to the protocols and results of the breeding, reintroduction and tracking of the vipers as well as the habitat-reconstruction and monitoring actions.

The second day of the conference was dedicated to field trips. The Hungarian meadow viper Conservation Centre (as the place of breeding and reintroduction) and the Hanság (for habitat-reconstruction) were the destinations of the guided tours.

It can be concluded that extinction of one of Europe’s rarest vertebrate in Hungary was preceded, and the habitat reconstruction works are efficient, but to ensure the long term existence of the species, maintaining conservancy actions is a must.

Róbert Dankovics of Fertő-Hanság National Parks
Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic from the University of Nis