Europe and Central Asia
27 Feb 2015

The 2015 Champions of the Flyway race will take place 25th March 2015 – THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO GET INVOLVED!

By BirdLife Europe

In 2014, the Israel Ornithological Center (SPNI; BirdLife in Israel) and BirdLife International launched a new and exciting project - Champions of the Flyway. This annual race aims to raise funds to tackle the illegal killing of birds in Europe. This race is anything but common: teams from around the world come together and compete to observe and register as many bird species as possible within a 24 hour period.

Each year, the funds gathered by sponsors, participants and supporters will be used to support a different Conservation NGO’s work on illegal killing of birds. Last year, $30,000 was raised and given to Bird Conservation Georgia (SABUKO), which used the money for the Batumi bottleneck project. This project saw the creation of a feature length documentary about the incredible annual migration of nearly 1 million raptors over Western Georgia. This project also supported educational programs for children and work with local communities on the implications of illegal trapping and killing.

Birders taking part in the inaugural 2014 event were of many different nationalities and represented many different businesses, conservation organisations and bird clubs. The 2014 winners were the Palestine Sunbirders, a joint Israeli-Palestinian team that recorded an impressive 169 species. Aware of their advantage in the field, they shared the coveted “Champions of the Flyway” title with the first place international team from the U.S., the Cornell Ebirders.

The next Champions of the Flyway race is taking place in Eilat, Israel's southernmost city on the Red Sea, and one of the world’s most spectacular migratory hot spots. Donations raised from this event will go to BirdLife Cyprus, to help them tackle the overwhelming scale of illegal bird killing and trapping that occurs on this small Mediterranean island. See below how to participate.

Combatting the illegal trapping of birds is one of the key campaigns of BirdLife Cyprus because it constitutes a serious and persistent problem.  Targetted actions can be separated into three main categories: systematic monitoring, awareness-raising and lobbying. BirdLife Cyprus hopes to use donations raised from the 2015 race towards awareness raising through 1) an awareness-raising campaign inspired by their 152 species affected by illegal trapping, and 2) the creation of a ringing (banding) station for birds.
 

Re-live last year’s race…

 

You can easily take part in the Champions of the Flyway in one of the following ways:

  1. Create a Team – To take part in the race, please come to Eilat in spring 2015. All you need is to enlist 2 friends or more and create a team. Please contact us for more details.

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  2. Sponsor a team – You can sponsor any team to help cover their participation costs.

  3. Donate on behalf of your team – All teams are competing against each other to raise the most funds and be awarded with the Protectors of the Flyway prize. You can choose a team and pledge a donation on their behalf through their Just Giving page.

  4. Support our work against the illegal killing of birds - All donations will be processed through BirdLife International.

  5. Please join us in the Champions of the Flyway campaign, spread the word and donate. This is a chance for birders and nature lovers to actually make a difference, to directly take part in bird conservation. Together we can stop the illegal killing and allow birds to fly safely through the sky.

You can keep informed and follow the race at Twitter “Champs of the Flyway” @Flywaychampions

For more information please visit the Champions of the Flyway website: www.champions-of-the-flyway.com

 


Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.