13 June, 2024

What is ELBARN?

ELBARN is the European Livestock Breeds Ark and Rescue Net: a network of farms, centres, parks, open air museums as well as people and organisations that work towards on farm/in situ conservation of European rare and indigenous livestock breeds.

ELBARN was launched as a three year, NGO-lead, concerted action, co-funded by the European Commission. The project began in 2007.

The aim of the first, three-year phase has been to network actors and to locate potential ark and rescue centres throughout Europe. Additionally, work groups were formed to address specific subjects, such as disease legislation or marketing opportunities.

A series of workshops, a questionnaire and numerous fact-finding activities have provided the basis of the project.

Ark and Rescue Centres will:

keep core breeding groups

offer help with breeding management
be open to the public
will offer emergency places for genetically important livestock

 Network of Ark Centres

The Ark Centres are listed in an online, searchable database that is available for anyone who is interested. They can be seen on www.elbarn.net

At the Ark Centres it is possible to see local livestock breeds. Some Ark Centres offer additional facilities such as accommodation, a farm shop, school visits etc.

Map showing the location of Ark Centres in Europe


ELBARN Guidelines: a set of guidelines that can be used by Ark and Rescue Centres. The guidelines cover the subjects of Rescue and Disease, Ark and Rescue Centres, Conservation Breeding and Marketing of Products and Services.

Workshop Results: all the presentations plus photos and other documents from the 5 workshops held.

Questionnaire Report: a short report which sets out the main results of the ELBARN fact-finding questionnaire.

Area Action Plans: for four areas of Europe, Action Plans set out the needs and requirements to carry the ELBARN project into the future.

ELBARN Brochure: a comprehensive brochure that explains what agrobiodiversity is and why it is endangered. The brochure is complete with many examples, case studies, pictures, maps and contact points.


Map showing the range of Area Workgroups for ELBARN in Europe

Further information

An Ark Centre is open to the public and shows a range of local livestock breeds. Ark Centres can also offer facilities for schools, sell farm produce or have accomodation.

A Rescue Centre has free space for genetically important animals that may need emergency placement.

For more information or to register an Ark or Rescue Centre, please use the form below or see the ELBARN website for national contact points.


Send to:
SAVE Foundation, Head Office,
Joseph-Belli-Weg 5, D-78467 Konstanz
Rare Breeds & Products
Elbarn 2007-2010 Partners