A non-governmental organization concerning research and conservation of birds of prey and owls in the Slovak republic.

SVODAS has a long history. A significant Slovak zoologist, Mgr. Štefan Danko, who lead the common Czech and Slovak group until 1996, founded it in 1974. The membership base at that time consisted of approximately 80 specialists from the entire Czechoslovakia. After the separation of Czechoslovakia in 1993, SVODAS divided to form 2 national (Czech and Slovak) groups.
In 1996, after 22 years of demanding and self-sacrificing work, Mgr. Štefan Danko resigned his position of a chairman and Jozef Chavko took up the leading position.
Since October 1998 SVODAS is an individual NGO, whose goals are:
q research and conservation of birds of prey and owls in Slovakia
q to organize people specializing in research and conservation of birds of prey and owls in Slovakia
q to educate its members about raptors and their environment in theoretical and practical way
q to promote conservation of raptors in public
q to provide consulting and organize activities concerning research and conservation of birds of prey and owls
Program of Activities Concerning Conservation of Birds of Prey in Slovakia was accepted on the membership meeting in 1998. The program determines the goals of SVODAS for the closest 5 years as well as it describe the ways of achieving them and SVODAS priorities. As for most of SVODAS members actively participate in several conservation and research projects, an exception from the Act 287/1994 on nature and landscape protection was granted to them by the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak rep.
SVODAS especially concentrates on monitoring of the breeding occurrence of the most endangered species, identification of the factors that are a threat to these species, protection of nesting sites, rescue management of selected species and stabilization of populations of critically endangered species.
Special attention is given to the problem of electrocution of birds on electric poles of 22 kV power lines.
Members of SVODAS actively participate in EABC (Eurogroup Against Bird Crime) activities and work in the advisory committee of the Ministry of the Environment that is responsible for CITES and EU legislation implementation.
In cooperation with the National Museum in Prague and the European ringing center in France, SVODAS conducts a ringing program.
Since 1986 SVODAS has been publishing its journal BUTEO, which has even after the separation of Czechoslovakia remained a common journal of the Czech and Slovak group. BUTEO is the only journal in Central Europe, which concerns research and conservation of birds of prey and owls exclusively.

The most significant projects conducted by SVODAS:

Project “Death poles”
q applying conservation measures on environment conservation and increased biodiversity conservation
q gradual ecologization of 22 kV power lines
q preventing birds from electrocution on electric poles of the external 22 kV power lines in Slovakia
Supported by: British Embassy, Know How Found Bratislava

Project “Falco vespertinus”
q monitoring of breeding occurrence of the red-footed falcon in Slovakia
q installation of artificial nests in order to increase nesting opportunities
q observation of the influence of increased nesting opportunities on population density and productivity of breeding pairs on the breeding site of the only colony of this species in Slovakia
Supported by: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, USA

Project “Nest guarding of the peregrine falcon in Malé Karpaty Mts.”
q nest guarding of the nationally endangered peregrine falcon in Malé Karpaty Mts.
q increasing productivity of the breeding pair
Supported by: HIROCEM a.s. Rohožník

Project “Protection of the imperial eagle”
q regular monitoring of the population
q fastening of unstable nests, regulation of the forest management plans in order to avoid wood logging in regular nesting habitats
q finding out the number of hatched and fledged young birds and marking them with the ornithological rings
q documentation of occurrence of the species during breeding, migration and winter season
Supported by: State Nature Conservation of the Slovak rep., Fond d’Intervention les Rapaces (F.I.R), Belgium

Project “Analysis of toxic substances in the eggs of birds of prey”
q determining the effect of toxic substances, especially heavy metals, chlorinated carbohydrates and polychlorinated biphenyl on productivity of breeding pairs
q creating a map of chemically polluted areas in foraging grounds of raptors
Supported by: Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak rep., State Nature Conservation of the Slovak rep.

Project “Conservation of Eagles in the Carpathians ”
q monitoring of the breeding occurrence of the golden eagle and the lesser-spotted eagle in Slovakia
q protection of nesting sites by means of a buffer zone creation around the nest
q publishing of propagation materials
Supported by: Ekofundusz Poland, REC Budapest