HSH Princess Theodora of Liechtenstein goes to bison area on her first visit to Romania

Posted on 11 June 2015

Local students will implement projects supported by her foundation
Armenis - HSH Princess Theodora of Liechtenstein and HSH Prince Alexander of Liechtenstein visited Romania to launch a program aimed at students in Armenis together with WWF and Rewilding Europe. This is the first visit to Romania of the two royals. 

"Armenis reminds me of childhood - rural landscape, natural forests, pastures, clean mountain streams and hospitable people that live their simple lives in harmony with nature. I am pleased to have had the chance to revisit a piece of my youth and I hope it will remain unchanged in the future for Romania", said Prince Alexander.

PrincessTheodora is a founding member of the Green Teen Team, a foundation that works to save species, plants and endangered animals, preserve the biodiversity of the planet by empowering young people. This is no easy task, but Princess Theodora strongly believes that by empowering the younger generation to make small positive changes in early life, the motivation to have a positive impact in the world will grow with them and will affect both their lives and of those around them.

Green Teen Team launched a challenge to schools around the area of bison reintroduction, implemented by WWF and Rewilding Europe in the Carpathians. With the support of the village of Armenis a small project was initiated to implement conservation activities in the next two years.

During the visit of Princess Theodora children presented their project ideas: an initiative to collect wild herbs, and promote their healing properties, an awareness campaign among hunters about endangered species, a reforestation project, a summer camp dedicated to ecology organized by the children, an initiative for arts education and practical activities of transforming trash into useful items, as well as an innovative idea for a transit bridge for wild animals that face habitat fragmentation.

Princess Theodora supported the bridge and the reforestation projects. Green Teen Team will support the implementation with funding. "Our visit was incredibly moving, we had the opportunity to present the objectives of Green Teen Teem and students also had great ideas. The visit to the bison reintroduction area was an unforgettable experience", said Princess Theodora.

"It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The proposals have been excellent and we are happy that all won prizes and will have the opportunity in the next two years to implement the proposed projects, with the support of the Green Teen Team, Rewilding Europe and WWF", said Ellie Crisp, guardian of Princess Theodora.

On the second day children, Princess Theodora, rangers, WWF and Rewilding team members made ​​a trip to see bison herd. Daniel Hurduzeu, one of the rangers in Armenis, showed the children how the telemetry works, so that it is easier to seek the bison herd in an area of 150 hectares with the help of transmitting collars worn by the bison.

The 14-member bison herd will be released into a protected area of 59,000 hectares on 12 June. Bison were not easy to find because their behavior has changed over the past year - they regained their wild instincts and stay away from people. One was finally found in a dense forest, eating bark.

The Visit of Green Teen Team comes days before a historic moment for bison conservation in the Southern Carpathians. Tarcu mountains will become home to two wild bison herds after being lost for more than two centuries. Reintroduction of bison in the area in the next 10 years will help the charismatic species to leave the danger zone of extinction and will allow local communities to benefit from the natural values ​​of the area.

Rewilding Europe and WWF, together with national and international partners, work to create a sustainable development model in the Carpathians. With the reintroduction of native species local communities can be supported by social enterprises based on exploring nature and ecotourism.
HSH Princess Theodora and Prince Alexander of Liechtenstein at the school in Armenis
© Bogdan Comancescu
HSH Princess Theodora (in the middle) discusses the bison reintroduction project
© Bogdan Comancescu
Local students present their projects
© Bogdan Comancescu
The royal family, WWF and Rewilding staff visit the bison reintroduction area
© Bogdan Comancescu
Bison hiding in the forest near Armenis
© Bogdan Comancescu