Nordens Ark History

Åby manor has a long and fascinating history. Letters preserved from 1307 show that Norway’s King Håkon Magnusson stayed here at that time. During the 1500s, the manor was owned by the Galde family. It may have been during that period that the castle-like building seen on a map from 1697 was built.

Åby was bought by Margareta Hvitfeldt in 1661, and the deal included about 90 farms and cottages scattered over the whole of northern Bohus county. From Margareta’s death in 1683 until 1975, Åby was managed by Hvitfeldtska scholarship institution in accordance with her will.
Åby manor was bought by the Swedish Rural Economy and Agricultural Society, which in 1996 sold the manor and associated 383 hectares of land to Nordens Ark Foundation.

Nordens Ark landmarks

1988 – Bohus Breeding Centre Foundation created on March 8 by 49 private individuals.
1989 – On June 14, Nordens Ark is formally inaugurated by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria is appointed Nordens Ark’s principal patron.
1992 – Nordens Ark becomes a member of EAZA, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.
1993 – WWF trustees visit Nordens Ark.
1994 – Nordens Ark becomes a member of IUDZG, which would later become WAZA, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
1996 – The foundation purchases Åby manor from Gothenburg and Bohus County Agricultural Society and becomes the owner of 383 hectares of land.
1997 – The foundation changes its name to Nordens Ark Foundation.
1999 – The Farm is inaugurated and opens to visitors.
2003 – Nordens Ark Hotel opens and a collaboration begins with the University of Gothenburg and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, with Nordens Ark serving as a field and research station. Research college launched in association with Formas and the University of Gothenburg.
2005 – Nordens Ark gets a professorship in conservation biology.
2006 – The Amur Tiger Project gets under way with the construction of a 7,000 square metre enclosure.
2008 – Wetlands Project initiated in response to the worldwide amphibian crisis.
2009 – Twentieth anniversary celebrated with an international seminar entitled Back to Nature. HRH Crown Princess Victoria and Dr Jane Goodall participate.
2010 – Nordens Ark becomes a member of IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Start of a long-term conversion of Åby’s lands from managed forests to Ecopark. The Foundation gains a 90-account, which guarantees that gifts and donations reach their intended purpose.
2011 – A new species arrives at Nordens Ark – the Pallas cat.

2012 – Another new species arrives at Nordens Ark – the European ground squirrel.
2014 – Nordens Ark celebrates 25 years of battling for animals. On June 14, HRH Crown Princess Victoria joins the festivities and inaugurates the park’s new enclosure for Persian leopards. Guests from all over the world are invited to participate in the anniversary weekend. The celebrations begin with a seminar by Mathias Klum and Jonas Rockström on June 13 at the University of Gothenburg auditorium. It’s a year of celebrations. During the summer, Lena M Lindén releases her book Med näbbar och klor (Tooth and Nail), about the battle for endangered animals.