Eriksberg Vilt & Natur (Eriksberg Wildlife Park)
Location:Blekinge in southeastern Sweden
Type of protection:Nature Reserve. A part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Blekinge Archipelago and Natura 2000.
With its nine hundred hectares, Eriksberg is one of Northern Europe’s biggest game reserves and enclosed nature reserve. A place where red deer and fallow deer, European bison, wild boar and mouflon sheep roam freely. There is also a rich bird life and one of the world’s largest stocks of the red water lily. Since September 2014 we have Pere David’s deer walking in a quarantine enclosure.
- Habitat types: The reserve preserves a distinct cultural landscape, strongly characterised by grazing. The land has been cultivated to varying extents since the Bronze Age. In 1938, farming ceased and was replaced by a wildlife park with red deer, fallow deer, mouflon, wild boar and European bison. The landscape today is a mosaic of forests, wooded and open pastures, lakes and flat rocks. The reserve also includes marine environments with both soft and hard bottoms. There is a great diversity of species, and more than 70 threatened and rare species of lichens, fungi, insects, bats and birds have been observed. Many of these are dependent on old trees and dead wood for their survival.<br />
- Keystone species present: Nothorhina muricata, Dendrocopos minor, Myotis nattereri, Nymphaea alba f. rosea
- Fauna (mega) species present: Mammals: Red deer, Fallow deer, Pere David’s deer, Wild boar, Mouflon, European bison, Red fox, Pine martin, Ferett, Lynx, Badger, Rabbit, Hare, Mink and Roe deer
- Fauna species reintroduced: European bison, Pere David´s deer
- Description: The nature photographer, author and zoologist Bengt Berg bought Eriksberg in 1938 and started to fence in the area to research the Red deer, and since then, the facility has been a centre for wild animals. <br /> It was Bengt Berg’s son, Iens Ilum Berg, who built the current enclosure, and he was also the one who brought the European bison to the game park. Today they are the biggest single breeding herd living in an enclosure, in conditions as close to its natural conditions as possible.
- Aim: To preserve (and also teach about and show) an unique animal and nature area
- Vision: To offer meetings and a unique experience around animals and nature as well as lodging and gastronomy for national and international visitors
- Accomplished in 10 years from now: To establish Eriksberg as a well-known and well-respected destination on the animals’ terms.
- Uniqueness: • One of the world’s largest stocks of the protected water lily. • Special guided tours for nature enthusiasts to see the European bison close up, so-called 'walking safaris'. • Since 1942 has a part of the Baltic Sea been protected from external influences and is today one of the world’s best pike fishing. • The biggest single breeding herd of European bison living in an enclosure, in conditions as close to its natural conditions as possible. • During the last few years, Eriksberg Vilt & Natur has developed to become a modern conference facility with a first class hotel and restaurants, with front row seats for the drama created by nature. Eriksberg offers a unique meeting and experience place, where the contrasts between eras and styles create a captivating, vibrant atmosphere, ideal for visitors who want to work undisturbed and spend a few hours relaxing, and naturally also opportunities for private events.
- Results so far: The work to save the endangered European bison has been very productive at Eriksberg. In July 2012 twin calves were born. It has never happened in Sweden before, and only a few times in the world. The twins are doing well. The biodiversity of Eriksberg is well known in Sweden.
- Flagship species: Bison
- Other characteristics: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products
- Inspirational value: Visitors can go on safari and see wild animals in their natural habitat and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.<br /> Each year we receive students in wildlife management. We work closely with scientists, zoologists and vets.
- Experience you would like to share: European bison walks: Eriksberg conducts special guided tours for nature enthusiasts to see the bison close up, so-called walking safaris. Together with a guide, visitors can follow in the bison’ footsteps and get really close to them. <br /> Education about the animals living conditions.
- Experience you would like to gain: Breed endangered animals for re-release into the wild