The resettlement of the Ural owl is led by a team of researchers headed by ornithologist Richard Zink at the Austrian Ornithological Centre – Seebarn branch office (Lower Austria) at "Vetmeduni" Vienna. The goal is the "Come Back" of the big owl into the forests of Austria. A new occurrence in the alps creates an essential link between the populations south (Slovenia, Italy) and north (Germany, Czech Republic) of the Alpine republic. Individual owls migrating between these populations ensure gene flow within the European metapopulation - the survival of the rare large owl can thus be ensured in the long term.
The designation of protected areas and the gradual conversion to sustainable forest management improved the living conditions for the Ural owls in Austria. Based on this, the project was requested by an international delegation of experts in autumn 2006. The Austrian release sites were selected for the protected areas "Wienerwald Biosphere Reserve" and the "Wilderness Dürrenstein", which offer the newcomers optimal survival conditions due to their ecologically particularly valuable forest stands. The project is based on the successful reintroduction that has taken place in the Bavarian Forest National Park (D) since the 1970s.
You can report observations of Ural owls directly to the project team on our website.
In order to give some assistance to the Ural owl, which does not build its own nests, almost 400 nesting boxes have so far been installed in suitable forests with the help of a large number of landowners. You are a landowner with forest ground , you are enthusiastic about the hawk owl and would like to enable the installation of a nesting box? Or do you have time and want to support the project in spring by regularly checking one of our nesting boxes?
You can also take a look behind the scenes of the project in the "Science Interview" with Eva and the project managers Richard Zink and Theresa Walter.