The first breeding
and releasing Project of the Ural Owl (Strix uralensis) in
Central Europe started in 1975 thanks to the Nationalpark Bayerischer
Wald (Germany) where the species has been extinct since 1926.
From 1975 till 2000 a total number of 189 birds have been released
into the wild. At the present time within the Nationalpark there
are at least 6 territories occupied by breeding or free ranging
Ural owls with some more pairs in the neighbourhood of the Nationalpark.
The reintroduction project in the neighbouring Sumava National
Park (Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic) started in 1990. During
the years 1995-2001, 47 birds were released. The first documented
breeding success was observed in 1998. The goal of the Ural Owl
Project in Upper Austria is to enlarge the releasing area
of the species to a triangle formed by the Nationalpark Bayerischer
Wald, the Sumava National Park and the Upper Austria
(north of Muhlviertel region, Nationalpark Kalkalpen).
This project was initiated
by WWF- Austria with the cooperation of the EGS Osterreich
Verein Eulen und Greifvogel Schutz ("Austrian Society for the
protection of owls and birds of prey") and started in autumn 2001
with the releasing of the first two birds. Last autumn the Monticello
Breeding Center was contacted by EGS Austria which suggested a cooperation
agreement. After this contact the Monticello Breeding Center
direction decided that all the offspring which will hatch at the
Center in the future years will be available for the project.