Project information

Project title: Viability improvement of Hungarian meadow viper populations and habitats in the Pannonian region.

Project acronym: LIFE18 NAT/HU/000799

Main objective:significant improvement of the Conservation Status of the critically endangered Hungarian meadow viper by restoring former distribution range of the species, wherever it is still possible, increasing number and size of populations, their extent and reducing fragmentation with establishment of ecological corridors.

Main activities:

  • Proper control of predator species that may be hunted.
  • Improvement of capacity and efficiency of breeding conditions in the Viper Conservation Centre.
  • Forming recommendations for managing Hungarian Meadow viper habitats.
  • Proper information of the main stakeholders and awareness raising to general public.
  • Contribution to the further development and sustainable management of all the Natura 2000 sites hosting Hungarian meadow viper populations.
  • Increasing the efficiency of transfer of knowledge between professionals, scientists and volunteers regarding the effective conservation of this species and its habitats.
  • Restoring the main ecosystem services provided by the viper habitats, increasing carbon fixation and climate regulation component mainly through restoration of wetland patches.
  • Conservation of highly species-rich grasslands, as local biodiversity hotspots. is a responsibility in reaching Biodiversity 2020 target at a European level, but also important regionally for supplying pollinators for neighbouring agricultural fields.

Project duration: 01/08/2019 – 31/03/2025

Budget: 4 162 182 EUR (75% of this amount was co funded by the EU Commission)

Coordinating beneficiary: BirdLife Hungary

Associated beneficiaries: Duna-Ipoly National Park Directorate, Fertő-Hanság National Park Directorate, Kiskunság National Park Directorate, Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden

Co-Financier: Ministry of Agriculture

  1. Preparatory actions, elaboration of action plans (Actions A)
  • Population and Habitat Viability Assessment for the Hungarian meadow viper
  • Prediction mapping of potential Hungarian meadow viper habitats
  • Preparing repatriation and management guidelines for habitat reconstruction in Inárcs
  1. Purchase/lease of land (Actions B)
  • Purchase of “Bagi-farm”,
  • B2 Purchase of water affected ploughfields in Kunpeszér
  1. Conservation actions (Actions C)
  • Renovation of “Bagi” farm and stable building
  • Habitat reconstruction in Inárcs
  • Habitat reconstruction in Fertő and Hanság
  • Connecting existing viper habitats in HUKN20024
  • Structural diversification of viper habitats to enhance predator-avoidance at HUKN20003
  • Reconstruction of small scale wetlands in viper habitats at HUKN20003
  • Reducing the predatory pressure on Hungarian meadow viper populations by controlling game species
  • Reducing the predatory pressure on the reintroduced viper population by excluding natural predators
  • Improvement of breeding conditions at the Hungarian Meadow Viper Conservation Centre
  • Capacity-building and diversification of Prey Breeding Facility
  • Reintroduction of vipers to the restored habitats
  1. Monitoring (Actions D)
  • Monitoring released vipers
  • Veterinary support of breeding and reintroduction of vipers
  • Monitoring habitat reconstruction in Inárcs
  • Monitoring habitat reconstruction in Fertő and Hanság
  • Monitoring habitat reconstruction in Bugac
  • Monitoring habitat reconstruction in Peszéradacs
  • Assessing the socio-economic impact of the project actions
  • Assessing the project’s impact on ecosystem functions
  1. Communication, awareness raising (Actions E)
  • Regional PR-campaign in Ócsa-Inárcs
  • Regional PR-campaign in Kiskunság
  • Regional PR-campaign in Fertő and Hanság
  • National level PR activities
  • Thematic zoo events
  • Opening Workshop
  • Final Workshop
  • National and international networking
  • Training expert staff and volunteers
  • Operation of project website and related internet activities
Results, reports
Previous LIFE projects
  • LIFE04 NAT/H/000116 – Establishing the background of saving the Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis) from extinction
  • LIFE07 NAT/H/000322 – Conservation of Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis) in the Carpathian-basin