The Slovak Wildlife Society
Who we are
The Slovak Wildlife Society (SWS) is a not-for-profit organisation focused on large carnivores: the wolf (Canis lupus), brown bear (Ursus arctos) and lynx (Lynx lynx). Our mission is to help ensure the long-term survival of these species and their habitats in Slovakia by finding sustainable solutions for co-existence with people.
SWS was founded in 1998 by a group of English people inspired by Slovakia's wildlife but at the same time concerned at the threat posed by major economic development. In 2000 we began implementing our first projects: the Protection of Livestock and Conservation of Large Carnivores project, assisting farmers in the use of non-lethal methods to protect their flocks from predators, as well as 'Wolves, Bears & Eagles' wildlife holidays and conservation volunteering holidays. Since then SWS has evolved into an Anglo-Slovak initiative and has been registered as a citizens' association in Slovakia since 2005.
What we do
Members of SWS conduct scientific research on large carnivores, their prey, habitats and interactions with humans. We provide expert knowledge and assistance in implementing non-lethal measures such as livestock guarding dogs, electric fences and bear-proof bins. Our programme of sustainable, responsible ecotourism aims to show the value of protecting wildlife and natural habitats, rather than over-exploiting them. Environmental education and public awareness are also important aspects of our work, which has been presented at major international meetings and conferences throughout Europe ans in North America. Local involvement, volunteering and exchange of information and ideas between nationalities are integral to our work.
Who we work with
To achieve our goals, we work with a wide range of organisations and individuals. Our key partners and supporters have included the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic, Slovakia's National Park authorities, the State Forestry Service, WWF, Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, the Wolves and Humans Foundation, the Born Free Foundation, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, the University of Aberdeen and Alertis - fund for bear and nature conservation. We are members of the International Association for Bear Research and Management, the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe and the Society for Conservation Biology.