Weitental Nature Conservation Center in Bruck an der Mur, Styria

Rescue center for injured animals and protected wildlife

Weitental Nature Conservation Center in Bruck an der Mur, Styria© NSZ Weitental, picture: G. Greiner

The Nature Conservation Center at Weitental near Bruck an der Mur was established in 1977 as a rescue center for injured animals and protected wildlife.  Young injured animals or confiscated wildlife are cared for here. Whenever possible these animals are released back into their natural habitats. Those animals with long-term injuries or any other species negatively affected are able to stay at the center. On average there are about 150 protected animals at the center, particularly those that were confiscated by authorities in Styria and that cannot be released into the wild again.  In such cases, the animals will be kept in special species-appropriate aviaries or spacious enclosures. Their living habits and the needs of each animal are taken into consideration whenever new aviaries are being built or the inside design of the spacious enclosures is being planned. This allows the visitors to be able to imagine the natural habitats and becomes a part of the education and awareness-raising work the Nature Conservation Center provides on the topic of species conservation.


every day from April to October


Family ticket: € 3.00
Adults: € 2.00
Children, retirees and students: € 1.00
Association membership, private persons: € 28.00
Association membership, companies: € 200.00
Holders of the Styrian Family Pass receive a 30% discount on admission
Holders of the Styrian Card enjoy free admission

Fields of activity: Nature Conservation Centers at Weitental, Bruck an der Mur

  • Rescue center for protected wildlife for the State of Styria
  • Care unit for birds und  small mammals
  • Breeding young animals
  • Research work
  • Educational and public relations work
  • Participation in international species conservation projects
  • Training courses

The present-day Nature Conservation Center in Bruck an der Mur was established in 1977 by four students of biology. The focus at the time was on constructing a sanctuary for owls and birds of prey to use in research and for breeding purposes and for biotop protection.  For a short time the sanctuary was known as the Konrad Lorenz Institute. Once Siegfried Prinz took charge of the facility in 1990, it was expanded by building spacious aviaries and enclosures.  This newly conceived facility took into consideration that in the future the Nature Conservation Center would serve as a rescue center for protected species in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.  The Center was then opened to the public.

In 1995 the association for the support of the Nature Conservation Centers was initiated, and both the State of Styria and the City of Bruck an der Mur agreed to provide their sustained support in the operation and upkeep of the Center.

In 1995 the City of Bruck an der Mur received the State Environmental Award for the Weitental Project and, in turn, the Nature Conservation Center received the Environmental Award of the City of Bruck an der Mur in 1996. 2001 saw the next phase of the project expand to include setting up a petting zoo, which helped promote public relations activities, including several different framework programs.

In the course of the National Exhibition 2006, which was held in Bruck an der Mur, nearly all of the infrastructure was adapted or rebuilt.  This means that the Center’s 40,000 m2 are now home to the most modern aviaries and spacious enclosures and educational pavilions, along with a seminar room and an adventure area to make use of the many activities offered here.

In 2008 the Nature Conservation Center in Bruck an der Mur was entrusted by the State of Styria with the implementation of the Lynx in Styria awareness project.  A symposium took place during the course of the project with participants and speakers from Austria, Germany and Italy, providing an overview of the status of the populations of European lynx.  The positive evolution of the lynx population and perspectives and strategies for the future were discussed.  All of the stakeholder and advocacy groups were included in terms of public awareness for the plight of the lynx.

Based on these accomplishments the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management recognized the Center as an academic institution in 2009. In 2010 the Nature Conservation Center was commissioned to develop a project dealing with the Secrets of the Forest by the project sponsor BIG Bruck/Mur within the framework of a promotional program for leaders. The objective was to create more realistic access to what happens in nature, and to help people learn to live in harmony with nature. In order to be able to offer such activities as Kindergarten in the Woods or Forest Schools, nature adventure weeks or wilderness classrooms in the HochSteiermark Region as well, the Nature Conservation Center at Weitental in Bruck an der Mur developed new educational modules. Based on the subject of Secrets of the Forest, traditional teaching methods are combined with the most modern technology, known as cybertrackers. In order to ensure that already existing education curricula is sustainable and can be developed even further, the cooperation capability among educational institutions is boosted, and that fundamental ethical considerations remain at work in teaching, an Academy for Nature and Ethics was established in 2011, promoting even more the learning opportunities at the Nature Conservation Center.

The Academy will make a major contribution to helping people to become even more aware of how they are entwined with nature and the wilderness. The focus is on a sound and holistic transfer of knowledge, on pointing out natural relationships and on experiencing the principles behind how man and nature interact.  In this way participants in the Academy will be shown how to act responsibly with nature taking an ethic point of view to their actions.

Nature conservation center Bruck an der Mur
Manager of the Nature Conservation Center: Mr. Siegfried Prinz
Stadtwaldstraße 43
A-8600 Bruck an der Mur
Tel. and Fax: +43 (0) 3862 54 7 60
Mobile: +43 (0) 664 15 158 76
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.