|Date opened||14 June 1989|
|Location||Sotenäs Municipality, Västra Götaland County, Sweden|
|Land area||383 ha (950 acres)|
|No. of species||80|
Nordens Ark (Ark of the North) is a zoo located on the 383-hectare (950-acre) Åby Manor in Bohuslän, Sweden. Nordens Ark was opened in 1989 and is operated by the Nordens Ark Foundation (Swedish: Stiftelsen Nordens Ark). Nordens Ark is on the west coast of Sweden, not far from the border with Norway. Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, was appointed as Nordens Ark Supreme Protector in 1989.
Nordens Ark is open to visitors every day of the year and receives around 100,000 visitors per annum.
Historic letters show that King Håkon of Norway lived at Åby Manor in 1307, establishing that the manor is at least that old and making it one of Bohuslän’s oldest estates. In 1661, Margareta Hvitfeldt purchased the property, consisting of some 90 farms and cottages. After her death in 1683, the property was managed until 1975 by the scholarship fund that inherited her wealth. The Agricultural Society in Gothenburg and Bohus County purchased the property at this time, and held it until 1996. The dwelling house at the manor was built in 1729, and parts of the 60-metre (200 ft) barn, the largest timbered structure in Bohuslän, are believed to date back to the 17th century.
The Bohus Breeding Center Foundation (Stiftelsen Bohus Avelscentrum) was founded on 8 March 1988 and Nordens Ark was inaugurated by Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on 14 June 1989. In 1996 the foundation purchased Åby Manor from Aby manor from the Agricultural Society in Gothenburg and Bohus County. In 1997, the name of the foundation was changed to the current Nordens Ark Foundation (Stiftelsen Nordens Ark), and in 1999 Nordens Ark created The Farm and opened to the public.
Quarantine and breeding
Quarantine and breeding take place in a separate part of the park called Lunden, which is not accessible to the public. This area includes separate quarantine areas for Predators, Birds, and Ungulates.
There are three categories of breeding and rearing work at the park.
- Endangered old Nordic breeds.
- Endangered Nordic wild mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and insects.
- Endangered exotic wild mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and insects that come from an environment similar to the Nordic. There are exceptions when it comes to amphibians and reptiles.
Nordens Ark has participated or is currently taking part in re-population projects, to release animals born at the facility into the wild, including the white stork, eagle owl, bell frog, otter, European wildcat, and lynx.
Nordens ark is owned and run by the Nordens Ark Foundation (Swedish: Stiftelsen Nordens Ark) which owns the 383-acre (155 ha) Åby Manor. This foundation is supported by gifts, donations, and commercial and private sponsors.
- "Kort historik". nordensark.se (in Swedish). Nordens Ark. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- "About Nordens Ark". nordensark.se. Nordens Ark. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- "Welcome to Nordens Ark!". nordensark.se. Nordens Ark. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- Eklund, Ann-Katrin (2 January 2010). "Nordens Ark fick turistpriset". Bohusläningen (in Swedish). Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- "Om Nordens Ark". nordensark.se (in Swedish). Nordens Ark. Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- "EAZA Member Zoos & Aquariums". eaza.net. EAZA. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Zoos and Aquariums of the World". waza.org. WAZA. Retrieved 28 April 2012.