Conservation

Interview with William Velmala

William Velmala is a well-known birder and ornithologist in Finland. He has been active in public science, having written some hundreds of magazine articles, book reviews and book chapters on birds. He has also had many confidential posts in ornithological societies, and is currently a member of both the Nomenclatural Committee and Rarities Committee of BirdLife Finland. Last autumn William was awarded the Silver Medal of BirdLife Finland.

William has quite an array of professional posts related to birds and ornithology. He has worked in the Finnish Ringing Scheme at the Finnish Museum of Natural History, as a PhD student at the Ecology Department at University of Turku, given bird classes at folk high schools and worked as a bird expert in a pest control company. Currently he is working as an Environmental Expert in a consultancy company Pöyry Finland Inc. and conducts field surveys on birds and bats, as well as environmental impact assessments and so on. We met William and asked about his passion for birds.

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ZEISS supports nature conservation and education in Israel

Established in 1953, The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) is Israel's leading environmental non-profit organization. For over 60 years SPNI has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Israel's natural resources, environment, natural assets and unique landscape.

In October, ZEISS and SPNI signed a partnership. Three of Israel’s most important Birdwatching Centres will now represent ZEISS products helping to support the local employees and volunteers in their research projects, but also visitors to experience nature from a different perspective.

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ZEISS supports the Honduras Birding for Conservation Tour

The inaugural Honduras Birding for Conservation Tour took place in northwestern Honduras from November 4 to 12, 2016.
Five teams of ten birders, and two guides birded during proscribed hours each day, rotating between some of Honduras’ most famous birding hotspots, including Santa Barbara, Pico Bonito, and Meambar Blue Mountain national parks as well as Lake Yojoa, the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens, and the Mayan ruins at Copán.

The purpose of the tour was to raise awareness of the birding opportunities in Honduras, to encourage more eco- and avitourism there, and to raise money and awareness for conservation of Honduran birds and habitat. Everyone—from tour organizers to guides to participants to the Honduran government and the national media outlets—seemed to agree that the inaugural Honduras Birding for Conservation Tour (HBCT) was a grand success. Carl Zeiss Sports Optics was a major sponsor of the tour—more about that later on in this post.

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ZEISS Supports NABU Naturschutzjugend in Hamburg

People generally associate Hamburg with bustling trade and busy streets, and not with nature. Apart from its port, Hamburg is a typical big city in Europe – with a large number of paved areas. The locals only encounter nature in one of the city’s parks or once they venture further afield. And yet there are a great many children and young people who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors and are committed to nature conservation.

“In a big city like Hamburg, there are plenty of things for children and young people to do in their free time. It’s not always easy to position our Naturschutzjugend activities. Still, we have quite a number of volunteers and popular youth groups,” says 19-year-old Jan Göldner. When Jan isn’t studying for his high school diploma or working a shift at the hardware store, he spends a lot of time as a regional youth spokesman for Naturschutzjugend and runs a youth group that focuses on nature conservation.

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Fascinating and irreplaceable: bird species such as the steppe eagle, the Rüppel’s vulture and the great knot are one of a kind – but they may soon disappear if we don’t take action now:

on the 2015 Red List for Birds, BirdLife International stated that population numbers are dwindling at a faster rate than they were just one year earlier. ZEISS has pledged to be a Red Listing Sponsor in the interests of conserving bird species diversity.

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More than 100 million of birds on their journey to the south

Every fall, more than 100 million birds head to southern Europe and Africa. They journey not to evade the harsh winter but primarily in pursuit of accessible food. While sources of food abound in the spring, making the northern climes ideal for raising their young,

sub-zero temperatures, snow and shorter days in winter render their search for nourishment much more difficult. Migratory birds are therefore almost genetically predisposed to fly off to warmer climes.

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Created in 1969, today the national park covers 50,720 ha and is the largest nature reserve in Western Europe. The diversity in biotopes is as varied as Doñana is large. Secluded beaches, huge flood plains, lagoons, wandering dunes, extensive forests of pine and spruce, and expansive heaths make it a safe place for migratory birds to rest and spend the winter. It is a unique breeding ground for endangered birds such as marbled ducks, white-headed ducks and rare mammals like the Iberian lynx.

People are only granted access to a very few areas in the national park. One of the finest experiences is to go on one of the rare four to seven-hour-long jeep tours of the park. These tours start from the El Acebuche visitor centre. From here you can start to explore the park's open countryside and small lagoons on short trails.

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Interview with Simon King

In UK Simon King stands for passionate nature documentaries and his commitment for wildlife. Simon King, known for presenting Springwatch and Big Cat Diary and his camerawork on flagship BBC programmes such as Planet Earth, will be on hand to share his in-depth experience of the natural world. His enthusiasm for the animal kingdom is clear the moment you start talking to him, even after so many years in the television business.

He recently returned a large area of land close to his home to its natural state in order to observe badgers, foxes, otters and numerous bird species living in their natural, wild habitat. We met up with him to find out more about his passion for nature.

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