Reintroduction of European elk back to the Slovak nature

Project facts

Project promoter:
ZITO civic association
Project Number:
Target groups
Civil servants/Public administration staff
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 59,012
The project is carried out in:

More information


The European elk is one of the original species in Slovakia. In the past it was eradicated in this region. The project aims to support reintroduction of the European elk back to the Slovak wildlife. 4 individual elks will be introduced in two regions of central Slovakia, 2 of them for research. The Elk Management Programme will be drafted, and public awareness about the species will be raised. As target groups, the project also involves expert organizations in the field of nature protection, forestry and hunting and land owners and users. The Norwegian Red Deer Center will provide their experience in relation to selection, purchase and transfer of the elk individuals, as well as to preparation of the draft Elk Management Programme. The Animal Production Research Center in Nitra will accomplish a research of 2 elk individuals placed in their game reserve in area of their dietary habits and ethology. The partnership will contribute to good-quality reintroduction of the elk to the Slovak nature.

Summary of project results

The European elk is one of the original animal species in Slovakia, although it was eradicated in this region in the during the 16-17 century, mostly as a result of hunting. Project aimed to support reintroduction of the European elk back to the Slovak wildlife, as its once natural and integral part. As a result of research of possible suppliers from countries, where the elks are not rare, 4 elks were calves imported to Slovakia from Latvia and Sweden. 2 calves were placed in the Animal Production Research Center in at the Nitra, to realize a dietary and ethology research. This research ensured acquiring important data in relation to reintroduction of the elks in natural conditions of Slovakia. Based on the this research and in consultation with the Norwegian partner a Strategy of the Elk Management Programme was elaborated. Later on, 2 new individuals were imported and placed in the fenced game preserves in the natural area in forests of central Slovakia (locality Drahova). These elks shall be released consequently after their accommodation to the new conditions. The interesting project attracted high level of media attention and the, including printed media, the Slovak Television and the Slovak Radio, which contributed to raising the public awareness about the species and the project.

Summary of bilateral results

The Norwegian Red Deer Centre (Stiftelsen Norsk Hjortesenter) is a national resource centre of knowledge for care of deer. Accumulation and dissemination of knowledge about wild and farmed deer are its main objectives. The Centre is operated as s foundation. The Norwegian Deer Centre is an important link between central Norwegian authorities, local management- and resource groups, landowners and the public in general. The centre is located on the island Svanøy and it is acknowledged by Norwegian authorities as a Research & Development centre, and is collaborating with other institutions on a wide range of topics. As part of the original proposal, the centre was supposed to be involved in supplying the elks for the purposes of the project. However, at the time of the project implementation it turned out to be impossible. The elks for the centre comes from the nature, typically the calves whose mother died, can be caught and provided for the purposes sale and export. Unfortunately, at the given year of the project implementation, the centre did not have any calves available for the purposes of the project. Therefore, the animals had to be found in other places. The Norwegian Red Deer Centre has been that involved in consultancy on vet treatment and breeding, and elaboration of draft elk management program.