Swarovski Optik announces new conservation commitment

Delegates attending the inaugural meeting of the Sociable Lapwing International Working Group in Syria, last weekend, received this welcome news when Swarovski Optik announced they would be providing further funding to support international conservation action for the species through the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.

Swarovski Optik has now become the primary funder of international conservation action for Sociable Lapwing, as institutional funding from the UK Government Darwin Initiative draws to a close after five years.

In addition to announcing an extension of their current support as a BirdLife Species Champion for a further three years, Swarovski Optik delighted the group by providing optical equipment to the new range state partners that have now joined the group.

The top of the range optics included five pairs of Swarovski’s brand new EL 50 Swarovision binoculars and two ATM 80 HD spotting scopes.

Announcing their continued support, Andreas Pittl – Head of Marketing- at Swarovski Optik – offered congratulations to the group for their achievements to date and wished the newly extended working group future success.

In a message sent from the Tyrol, Pittl also said “We believe in the team and your planned activities to reach our common goal – preventing the incredible Sociable Lapwing from extinction. I want you to know Swarovski Optik is supporting you every step of the way. We have increased our annual financial contribution and are providing this optical equipment to help new members of the Sociable Lapwing International Working Group with their important monitoring and fieldwork. Please keep up the good work!”

Dr. Mohammed Al Salameh of the Saudi Wildlife Commission using the equipment in the field.

Following the announcement and presentation of equipment, Omar Fadhil of Nature Iraq said “I have always dreamt of using a pair of Swarovski binoculars but never thought I would – so receiving these new – Swarovision EL50s is quite incredible. I see them as a piece of ‘precious art’ which will help my work now and be a legacy to future generations that join us protecting the wildlife of Iraq.”

Swarovski Optik first became a BirdLife Species Champion for Sociable Lapwing alongside RSPB at the British Birwatching Fair in August 2008.  RSPB have confirmed they will also continue  as Species Champions alongside Swarovski Optik for the next three years, so both organisations can continue to work in partnership, supporting and promoting international action for the species.

In common with all BirdLife Species Champions a small proportion of Swarovski Optik’s contribution is also used to advance conservation action for other globally threatened birds. In this way Species Champions are collectively helping to prevent the extinction of threatened species on a larger scale than would otherwise be possible. See here for details of the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.

Further news covering the conservation planning outcomes of the Syria meeting will be posted to the Amazing Journey website shortly once conclusions have been consolidated and announced formally by the AEWA Secretariat.

Related posts:

  1. Andreas Pittl – Swarovski Optik
  2. Syria hosts inaugural meeting of the Sociable Lapwing International Working Group.
  3. Why we’re involved – Swarovski Optik
  4. Swarovski Optik AG
  5. Dale Forbes – Swarovski Optik

7 Responses

  1. Bob Dawson 25. Mar, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    I am thrilled that Swarovski are supporting the work for Sociable Lapwing, as recently I was fortunate enough to get a Swarovski telescope. My estimation of the company has now grown even further! Today I met Rob Sheldon of RSPB on the train and learned more about this delightful bird and The Amazing Journey. It’s brilliant! A long time ago I did see a Sociable Lapwing in the UK, that stayed for some time on one of my local patches – Dartford Marshes. I hope the project goes from strength to strength – keep up the good work everyone!

  2. jim 26. Mar, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    Hi Bob – Thanks for your supportive comments and welcome as a new follower of The Amazing Journey. Swarovski Optik’s continued backing is hugely important. They are primarily funding the action our international partner’s are taking which monitors Sociable Lapwings throughout their range and intervenes where they are most threatened. This is a vital part of the overall plan that is helping to prevent the species’ extinction.

    I remember the Sociable Lapwing you saw at RSPB Rainham Marshes well. It was a first winter that stayed from 4th – 20th December 2005. There has actually only been one other record in the UK since – on Scilly in October 2008. I hope you have the opportunity to see many other great birds like these through your Swarovski scope in the near future. By the way – don’t forget to check out their new EL50 binoculars. I had my first opportunity to try them at the conference in Palmyra last weekend and they are outstanding.

    Best regards


  3. Rob Sheldon 27. Mar, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    It is great news that Swarovski Optik are keen to continue their support for our work on Sociable Lapwing. This committment is a glowing tribute to all the partner organisations who have made such a valuable contribution to Sociable Lapwing work across the species’ range. I’m convinced that with this continued support from Swarovski we have a fantastic opportunity to turnaround the conservation status of this fantastic bird in the coming years.

    Rob Sheldon (Project Leader for the Darwin funded Sociable Lapwing project – RSPB)

  4. Bob Dawson 28. Mar, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Hi Jim,

    The one I saw a bit was a bit longer ago, staying overwinter to April 1985. Gorgeous bird. If the Rainham project had been up and running it perhaps would have been lured from Kent to Essex, to our dismay as local birders ;-) My current binoculars have served me well after 12 years but it is fair to say they don’t bear too close a comparison with modern equipment. One day I shall upgrade, and will have a look at a pair of EL50 when I have the chance. Thanks for the tip! The scope has been invaluable for reading rings on geese and waders, even common cranes in France earlier this spring. Not to mention the great views generally, e.g. close focus on feeding siskins (yet to read one of those rings though!).



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