Species conservation workshop for the Hungarian meadow viper


At the start of our ongoing LIFE project, we set a goal to summarize knowledge about the Hungarian meadow viper and its conservation, reviving a process which once provided significant inspiration for the launch of our species conservation program 20 years ago. We once again asked the IUCN Conservation Planning Group, which is part of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, to mediate the process, targeting the mid- and long-term planning of the conservation strategy. After almost a year of multi-round online discussions, the planning process finally reached a point in mid-March when we were able to organise the long-awaited in person meeting, in order to summarise our experiences and collective thoughts. The Hungarian Meadow Viper Species Conservation Planning Workshop was a 4-day event, held in Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden with the participation of conservation professionals, local stakeholder representatives, researchers and international experts. On the first day the history and main results of the conservation program were summarized in lectures, and the preliminary results of the Population Viability Analysis prepared by the IUCN CPG experts. The following two days were spent by identifying the main risk factors and formulating and prioritizing the nature conservation goals, after which the participants were asked to form working groups, developing, prioritizing and presenting specific conservation actions. The conservation planning process did not end here, and a document summarizing the conclusions is under preparation. The final version is expected to be prepared within the coming months, providing direct help in the renewal of the Hungarian Meadow Viper Species Conservation Plan. On the last day, the participants visited the Hungarian Meadow Viper Conservation Centre and the nearby release site, where, thanks to the ideal weather, we managed to observe 3 Hungarian meadow vipers.