20 Years of EuroBirdwatch breaks participation records!
By Elodie Cantaloube, Tue, 08/10/2013 - 16:13
On Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October, more than 19,000 adults and children took part in birdwatching events organised in 30 Eurasian countries to watch the fascinating migration of 2.4 million birds to their wintering areas in the South. For the 20th time already, the public was invited by the national organisations of BirdLife International to observe this spectacle of nature.
The national partner organisations of Birdlife International took the opportunity of the 20th anniversary of EuroBirdwatch to raise awareness on bird migration and to promote needed actions to save threatened bird species and their habitats.
“In these 20 years, BirdLife Partners organised agreat number of activities along the European-African flyway for the protection of birds on their dangerous journey”, says Fritz Hirt, SVS/BirdLife Switzerland, who has coordinated the EuroBirdwatch since its creation in 1993.
Over 900 EurobirdWatch events were organised, encouraging people of all ages to go out, observe, explore and enjoy birds. The bird observations data collected in each country was referred to the European Centre, this year the Slovak organization SOS/BirdLife Slovakia.
In parallel, important conservation projects were organised, including VBN (BirdLife in the Netherlands) projects “Saving the largest resting site of Lesser Kestrels in Senegal”, “Preserving the Black Stork between Europe and Africa” and “Protecting the Northern Bald Ibis in Morocco”; and SVS (BirdLife in Switzerland) projects focusing on the Black-tailed Goodwit, Purple Heron and Common Tern.
VIPs also took part in the celebration. In Switzerland, the President of the National Council visited an observation stand to show her support for the preservation of migratory birds, especially in the Mediterranean. In Serbia, the Provincial Secretary attended an event, and in Uzbekistan, the Rector of Karakalpak National University and the Defence Attaché for Uzbekistan from British Embassy Tashkent were also in attendance.