European wolf, bear, lynx news


This video says about itself:

Link with the Lynx – The Secrets of Nature

24 March 2014

With large tufted ears, a short tail and a trusting look, one could almost believe that lynxes are just big cats. In their hearts, however, they are wild and untamed. They are the tigers of Europe. This is the story of a hard earned friendship. On the one side is Milos Majda, a quiet, nature loving ranger at the Mala Fatra national park in Slovakia. On the other side are two small lynxes, fresh from the zoo. With Milos’ help, it’s hoped the lynxes will return to the home of their ancestors in the forests of Mala Fatra in the heart of Slovakia. For two years Milos Majda and the biologist and animal filmmaker Tomas Hulik follow the journey of the lynx siblings from their warm nursery inside a cabin into the wilderness.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Brown bears, wolves and lynx numbers rising in Europe

Land-sharing model of conservation is helping large predators thrive in the wild – and even the British countryside could support big carnivores, study finds

The forests – and suburbs – of Europe are echoing with the growls, howls and silent padding of large predators according to a new study which shows that brown bears, wolves and lynx are thriving on a crowded continent.

Despite fears that large carnivores are doomed to extinction because of rising human populations and overconsumption, a study published in Science has found that large predator populations are stable or rising in Europe.

Brown bear, wolf, the Eurasian lynx and wolverine are found in nearly one-third of mainland Europe (excluding Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia), with most individuals living outside nature reserves, indicating that changing attitudes and landscape-scale conservation measures are successfully protecting species which have suffered massive persecution throughout human history.

The bears are the most abundant large carnivore in Europe with around 17,000 individuals, alongside 12,000 wolves, 9,000 Eurasian lynx and 1,250 wolverines, which are restricted to northern parts of Scandinavia and Finland.

Only Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in mainland Europe – like Britain – have no breeding populations of at least one large carnivore species. But the paper’s lead author and other conservationists said these animals’ surprising distribution across well-populated regions of Europe showed that even the British countryside could support big predators.

Guillaume Chapron from Sweden’s University of Agricultural Sciences and researchers across Europe found wolves in some cases living in suburban areas alongside up to 3,050 people per square kilometre – higher than the population density of Cambridge or Newcastle.

On average in Europe, wolves live on land with a population density of 37 people per sq km, lynx in areas with a population density of 21 people per sq km and bears among 19 people per sq km. The population density of the Scottish Highlands is nine people per sq km.

“In order to have wolves we don’t need to remove people from the landscape,” said Chapron.

According to Chapron and his colleagues, the big carnivore revival shows the success of a “land-sharing” model of conservation – in stark contrast to keeping predators and people apart by fencing off “wilderness” areas as occurs in North America and Africa.

“I’m not saying it’s a peace and love story – coexistence often means conflict – but it’s important to manage that conflict, keep it at a low level and resolve the problems it causes. Wolves can be difficult neighbours,” said Chapron. “We shouldn’t be talking about people-predator conflict; we have conflict between people about predators. These animals are symbolic of difficult questions about how we should use the land.”

According to the researchers, this “land-sharing” approach could be applied elsewhere in the world.

The reasons for its success in Europe include political stability, burgeoning populations of prey species such as wild deer, and financial support for non-lethal livestock protection such as electric fences, which mean that farmers do not resort to shooting wild predators. Most crucial, said Chapron, has been the EU habitats directive which has compelled member states to protect and revive rare species.

“Without the habitats directive I don’t think we would have had this recovery,” he said. “It shows if people are willing to protect nature and that political will is translated into strong legislation like the habitats directive, it’s possible to achieve results in wildlife protection.”

The revival was welcomed by author and commentator George Monbiot, who is next year launching Rewilding Britain, a new charity to encourage the return of wild landscape and extinct species.

“It is great to see the upward trend continuing but Britain is completely anomalous – we’ve lost more of our large mammals than any country except for Ireland,” he said. “Apart from the accidental reintroduction of boar we’ve done almost nothing whereas in much of the rest of Europe we’ve got bears, lynx and wolves coming back. It’s a massive turnaround from the centuries of persecution.”

The survey found the Eurasian lynx living permanently in 11 population groups across 23 European countries, of which only five were native populations – indicating the success of reintroduction efforts. According to Monbiot, momentum is building for the reintroduction of the lynx into the Cairngorms in Scotland.

“If it works in the rest of Europe, there’s absolutely no reason why it can’t work in the UK,” he said, pointing out that bears and wolves are found within an hour of Rome. “There’s no demographic reason why we can’t have a similar return of wildlife in the UK.”

An extensive European study has found that the numbers of carnivorous animals are on the rise across the continent, with Sweden seeing a hike in the populations of bears, lynxes, wolves, and wolverines: here.

Earliest polyphonic music discovery in England


This music video says about itself:

Medieval Music Ultimate Grand Collection

17 April 2013

Chant (or plainsong) is a monophonic sacred form which represents the earliest known music of the Christian church.

Chant developed separately in several European centres. Although the most important were Rome, Hispania, Gaul, Milan, and Ireland, there were others as well. These chants were all developed to support the regional liturgies used when celebrating the Mass there. Each area developed its own chants and rules for celebration. In Spain and Portugal, Mozarabic chant was used and shows the influence of North African music. The Mozarabic liturgy even survived through Muslim rule, though this was an isolated strand and this music was later suppressed in an attempt to enforce conformity on the entire liturgy. In Milan, Ambrosian chant, named after St. Ambrose, was the standard, while Beneventan chant developed around Benevento, another Italian liturgical center. Gallican chant was used in Gaul, and Celtic chant in Ireland and Great Britain.

Around 1011 AD, the Roman Catholic Church wanted to standardize the Mass and chant. At this time, Rome was the religious centre of western Europe, and Paris was the political centre. The standardization effort consisted mainly of combining these two (Roman and Gallican) regional liturgies. This body of chant became known as Gregorian Chant. By the 12th and 13th centuries, Gregorian chant had superseded all the other Western chant traditions, with the exception of the Ambrosian chant in Milan and the Mozarabic chant in a few specially designated Spanish chapels.

Instruments used to perform medieval music still exist, but in different forms. The flute was once made of wood rather than silver or other metal, and could be made as a side-blown or end-blown instrument. The recorder has more or less retained its past form. The gemshorn is similar to the recorder in having finger holes on its front, though it is actually a member of the ocarina family. One of the flute’s predecessors, the pan flute, was popular in mediaeval times, and is possibly of Hellenic origin. This instrument’s pipes were made of wood, and were graduated in length to produce different pitches.

Medieval music uses many plucked string instruments like the lute, mandore, gittern and psaltery. The dulcimers, similar in structure to the psaltery and zither, were originally plucked, but became struck in the 14th century after the arrival of the new technology that made metal strings possible.

The bowed lyra of the Byzantine Empire was the first recorded European bowed string instrument. The Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih of the 9th century (d. 911) cited the Byzantine lyra, in his lexicographical discussion of instruments as a bowed instrument equivalent to the Arab rabāb and typical instrument of the Byzantines along with the urghun (organ), shilyani (probably a type of harp or lyre) and the salandj (probably a bagpipe). The hurdy-gurdy was (and still is) a mechanical violin using a rosined wooden wheel attached to a crank to “bow” its strings. Instruments without sound boxes like the jaw harp were also popular in the time. Early versions of the organ, fiddle (or vielle), and trombone (called the sackbut) existed.

From the Daily Telegraph in Britain:

Manuscript showing ‘birth’ of 1,000 years of choral music discovered

The earliest practical example of polyphonic music has been discovered on the bottom of a manuscript at the British Library

By Hannah Furness, Arts Correspondent

7:00AM GMT 17 Dec 2014

A manuscript showing the “birth” of 1,000 years of musical tradition has been discovered by an intern at the British Library.

The musical score is thought to be the earliest known practical example of polyphonic music, a type of choral song written for more than one part.

The notation, written in faded ink on a centuries-old parchment, is believed to date back to the beginning of the 10th century and is described as the “birth” of polyphonic music.

Showing notation for two vocal parts which complemented one another, it is around a century older than the current surviving record-holder, which was written in the year 1,000.

The score was discovered in the British Library by a PhD student from the University of Cambridge, who was completing an internship recording the establishment’s musical records.

Summing up the importance of the find, Giovanni Varelli, from St John’s College, said the rules laid down in the short piece “laid the foundations for those that developed and governed the majority of western music history for the next thousand years”.

Polyphonic music, choral music written for more than one part, is already known to have existed in the early Middle Ages, but surviving records so far have shown it only in theoretical texts.

Now, scholars have hailed the discovery of a score written for real-life, practical use, saying it is “not what they had expected” to find from music of the period.

It is not yet known who wrote the music, but research suggests it came from north-west Germany around the year 900.

Polyphonic music went on to define much of European music up until the 20th century, developing through the Renaissance to the classical music written by composers such as J.S. Bach.

Varelli, who spotted the notation inked in to a space at the end of a manuscript of Life of Bishop Maternianus of Reims, said the music helps demonstrate how the form has evolved over 1,000 years.

A specialist in early music notation, the student was the first to recognise the inkwork as showing two distinct vocal parts, designed to be sung together.

Until now, the earliest surviving example of a practical piece written for more than one voice came from a collection known as The Winchester Troper, dating back to the year 1000.

This piece, which has now been specially recorded by members of the college’s choir, is technically known as an “organum”, an early type of polyphonic music in which an accompaniment was sung above or below the melody.

“What’s interesting here is that we are looking at the birth of polyphonic music and we are not seeing what we expected,” Varelli said.

“Typically, polyphonic music is seen as having developed from a set of fixed rules and almost mechanical practice. This changes how we understand that development precisely because whoever wrote it was breaking those rules.

“It shows that music at this time was in a state of flux and development, the conventions were less rules to be followed, than a starting point from which one might explore new compositional paths.”

He added the fact the main document was written at the beginning of the 10th century meant researchers could “conservatively estimate” the musical addition was made “some time in the very first decades of the same century”.

“The rules being applied here laid the foundations for those that developed and governed the majority of western music history for the next thousand years,” he said. “This discovery shows how they were evolving, and how they existed in a constant state of transformation, around the year 900.”

Nicolas Bell, music curator at the British Library, said “This is an exciting discovery. When this manuscript was first catalogued in the eighteenth century, nobody was able to understand these unusual symbols. We are delighted that Giovanni Varelli has been able to decipher them and understand their importance to the history of music.”

See also here.

CIA torturers and their accomplices in other countries


This video from the USA says about itself:

Obama Does Nothing Despite Horrifying Torture Report – #NoFilter

11 Dec. 2014

This clip is from The Point with Ana Kasparian. …

The Senate Intelligence Committee recently released the gruesome details about the interrogation tactics that were used by the CIA under the Bush Administration. Aside from waterboarding, detainees were forced to undergo rectal rehydration and other methods of torture. Should the Bush Administration face prosecution for this?

By Alex Lantier:

US torture report exposes European powers’ involvement in CIA crimes

12 December 2014

The publication of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture has exposed the European powers’ complicity in ghastly crimes of US intelligence. Even though European states’ complicity in CIA torture and rendition operations has been documented for nearly a decade, no European officials have been held accountable.

In 2005, the Council of Europe tasked former Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty with preparing a report on secret CIA prisons in Europe. He released two reports, in 2006 and 2007, documenting the complicity of dozens of European states in setting up facilities for illegal CIA rendition and torture. The states involved included Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Albania.

The existence of approximately 1,000 CIA flights and of secret prisons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Bucharest (Romania), Antavilas (Lithuania), and Stare Kiejkuty (Poland) has since been confirmed.

Nonetheless, after the US Senate recognized CIA use of the grisliest forms of torture—including murder, sexual assault, sleep deprivation and forcing inmates to stand on broken limbs—officials across Europe reacted by insisting that they should enjoy immunity.

Top officials of the Polish government, which is appealing a July ruling against it over its role in CIA torture by the European Court on Human Rights, denounced the report. “Certain secrets should stay that way,” said Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

Polish prosecutors have been investigating the case for six years, including a two-year investigation of former Polish intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, without bringing any charges. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was waterboarded as soon as he arrived at Stare Kiejkuty. One medical officer there noted: “We are basically doing a series of near-drownings.”

Other detainees at Stare Kiejkuty, which housed Saudi, Algerian and Yemeni detainees, were subjected to mock executions with a power drill while standing hooded and naked.

Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski lamely claimed that CIA officials did not explain how they planned to use their secret prisons in Poland. “It was a question as we saw it only of creating secret sites,” he said, adding that he closed down the facility in 2003 because “the Americans’ secret activities began to worry” Polish authorities.

Lithuanian officials confirmed that the black site named “detention center Violet” by the US Senate report appears to be the Lithuanian detention center near the capital, Vilnius, identified in a 2009-2010 parliamentary investigation. Lawmaker Arvydas Anusauskas told Reuters, “The US Senate report, to me, makes a convincing case that prisoners were indeed held at the Lithuanian site.”

Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi detainee now kept at Guantanamo Bay, has stated that he was kept and tortured at the site. Washington paid the Lithuanian government $1 million to “show appreciation” for operating the prison, according to the US Senate report, though the funds were reportedly paid out through “complex mechanisms.”

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius has asked Washington to confirm whether or not the CIA tortured prisoners at its secret prisons in Lithuania.

British Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed the issue of torture and Britain’s role in rendition flights to countries including Libya, saying that it had been “dealt with from a British perspective.” He told the public to trust British intelligence to police itself, as official investigations had “produced a series of questions that the intelligence and security community will look at … I’m satisfied that our system is dealing with all of these issues.”

In fact, the CIA torture report has revealed the advanced state of collapse of democratic forms of rule not only in the United States, but also in Europe. What has emerged across Europe since the September 11 attacks is the framework of a police state far more technically powerful than even the most ruthless dictatorships of twentieth-century Europe. The methods deployed as part of the “war on terror” will also be used against opposition in the working class to unpopular policies of austerity and war.

European governments participate in the digital spying on telecommunications and Internet activities of the European population, carried out by the US National Security Agency and its local counterparts, as revealed by Edward Snowden. They also are planning joint repression of social protests, based on talks between German federal police, France’s Gendarmerie, and other security forces with the European Commission.

“During my investigation, people called me a traitor and said I was making things up,” Marty told the Tribune de Genève. “The Europeans disappointed me. Germany, the United Kingdom, and many others blocked the establishment of the truth. In fact, most European countries actively participated in a system that legitimated large-scale state crimes.”

“I think we must recall, and it is very important, that this operation, this anti-terrorist policy, was decided and carried out under the aegis of NATO,” Marty told Swiss television channel RTS.

“The United States invoked Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which says that if one member of the alliance is attacked militarily [e.g., as Washington claimed, on September 11], all NATO members are required to come to its aid,” Marty said. Once this was accepted, he added, “there were a whole series of secret accords between the United States and European powers. And all the European countries pledged to grant total immunity to CIA agents, which is manifestly illegal.”

The European powers’ participation in the CIA torture program underscores the utter hypocrisy of the humanitarian pretensions used to justify operations ranging from NATO wars in Syria and Libya to this February’s NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch in Ukraine.

The ferocious opposition of the European ruling elites to attempts to bring this criminality to light is the clearest indication that the democratic rights of the population cannot be secured by appeals to any section of the state. The defense of the population’s democratic and social rights is a question of the revolutionary mobilization of the working class in an international struggle against European capitalism.

This video is called How The CIA Tortured Terror Suspects In Uzbekistan. It says about itself:

The West’s Torture Farm (2005) – How the United States shipped torture suspects to Uzbekistan.

Watch Torturing Democracy, Journeyman’s collected playlist on CIA torture.

By Mike Head in Australia:

Successive Australian governments complicit in US torture

12 December 2014

Successive Australian governments, Labor and Liberal-National, have directly collaborated, or systematically covered up Canberra’s involvement, in the CIA torture regime that was partially revealed in this week’s US Senate Intelligence Committee report.

Despite being heavily redacted, the 500-page unclassified executive summary of the report on US torture describes, in detail, brutal crimes that clearly violate the Geneva War Conventions and the Convention against Torture.

In response, there has been a deafening silence within the Australian political establishment. Not a word of condemnation of the United States government has been heard from Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his ministers, or any of their predecessors, Labor or Coalition. Nor have the Greens uttered a word.

If a similar report had been issued in China, Russia or Syria, or any other country targeted by Washington and its allies, there would have been non-stop cries of “war crimes” and “human rights abuses.”

This line-up speaks volumes about the readiness of all these parties to continue their complicity in the unspeakable abuses committed by Washington, and to utilise similar methods themselves.

The practices described in the Senate report—such as prolonged sleep deprivation, head-banging, sensory deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures and confinement in stress positions—match those inflicted on three known Australian victims: Guantánamo Bay detainees David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib; and Jack Thomas, who was tortured in Pakistan.

In the US, the Republican Bush administration authorised the “enhanced interrogation program” and the Democrat Obama administration blocked all efforts to hold accountable those responsible. In Australia, the Howard Coalition government was a willing partner in the torture program and the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments fought tooth and nail to shield Howard and his ministers from political and legal liability.

The whitewashing continues under the current Abbott Coalition government.

A day after the Senate report was released, David Hicks challenged Attorney-General George Brandis at an official human rights function in Sydney. “I was tortured for five-and-a-half years in Guantánamo Bay in the full knowledge of your party. What do you have to say?” Hicks called out.

Hicks has previously detailed extensive periods of solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, severe beatings and forced druggings at the hands of his American captors, all with the knowledge and approval of Australian officials.

Brandis, who was a junior minister in the Howard government, scuttled off the stage. Yesterday, he vilified Hicks as a “terrorist.” Brandis’s slander is just another indication that the abuses of fundamental legal and democratic rights committed by the US and its allies will only worsen.

In 2007, Hicks only agreed to plead guilty to a trumped-up US Military Commission charge of supporting a terrorist organisation in order to be released from the Guantánamo hell-hole, where he had been incarcerated for nearly six years without a trial. It was a political fix orchestrated by the Howard government, which was facing mounting public outrage over its collusion in Hicks’s indefinite detention.

Hicks is currently appealing against his conviction, after US courts last year ruled that the charge laid against him was invalid because no such offence existed in 2001, when he was detained.

The Howard government, backed by the then Labor Party opposition, supported the Bush administration’s criminal practices. It echoed Washington’s claims that Hicks was among “the worst of the worst” terrorists and repeatedly denied any knowledge that he was tortured.

Once in office, the Rudd Labor government endorsed an Australian Federal Police “control order” on Hicks and blocked access to government documents on his treatment by the US military.

It was the same with Mamdouh Habib, who also spoke out on Wednesday. He was captured in Pakistan in October 2001 and sent to Egypt under the CIA’s rendition program. Like Hicks, he was tortured with the Howard government’s full knowledge. “I’m suffering when I see every day America accusing people of terrorism and they are the terrorists themselves,” he told reporters.

Habib was finally released from Guantánamo in 2005, without any charge being laid against him, after evidence of his torture began to emerge. In 2007, court documents proved that Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer were given detailed briefings on Habib’s complaints of torture as early as mid-2002. One briefing stated: “[Mr Habib] said he was tortured. Water was dripped on his head and he was administered electric shocks … Mr Habib said he was trussed upside down and his body beaten. He said he sustained broken ribs, two broken toes and bleeding from his penis.”

Four years later, following eye-witness accounts confirming that Australian officials witnessed Habib’s rendition and torture, the Gillard government made an out-of-court settlement with him. After a five-year legal battle against Canberra’s bipartisan coverup, Habib was offered a payment to absolve the Australian government of liability.

In Jack Thomas’s case, the Howard government went further, placing him on trial for terrorism offences on the basis of an alleged confession he made as a result of torture. In January 2003, Thomas was detained at Karachi airport while trying to return to Australia. After being starved, shackled in stress positions and threatened with violence to his family by US and Pakistani operatives, he was further interrogated by Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officers.

Thomas’s initial conviction was overturned on appeal in 2006. The judges documented, in detail, the torture and “emotional manipulation” inflicted on him, and ruled that the criminal violence made his statements inadmissible.

Not a single member of the Howard government or the AFP-ASIO security apparatus has been held to account for these horrific crimes, despite the violations of international law and the Australian Criminal Code, which makes it a crime, punishable by up to 25 years’ jail, to “aid, abet, counsel or procure” a “grave breach” of the Geneva Conventions.

This week’s silence in the political elite has been accompanied by a dearth of commentary in the mainstream media. A solitary editorial appeared yesterday, in the erstwhile liberal Melbourne Age. It began with the proposition: “Torture does not work. Worse, it encourages extremists and damages the moral credibility and international authority of those using it.”

In other words, the Age’s objections were tactical. If torture “worked,” it would be fine. The editorial further asserted: “The extent of Australia’s knowledge of and involvement in the US rendition program may never be known.” This is nothing but a cover for the Howard government and its Labor accomplices.

None of these crimes is an aberration. They flow from the entirely fraudulent “war on terror,” which serves as a pretext for predatory wars in the Middle East and the erection of a police-state framework at home. Since 2001 there has been a relentless assault on basic democratic rights in Australia, including sweeping “anti-terrorism” laws, large-scale military-police mobilisations in capital cities, and mass surveillance by the spy agencies, as part of the global US network.

Far from lessening its involvement in Washington’s atrocities, Canberra’s part has intensified. US bases in Australia, such as Pine Gap, now play vital roles in the latest criminal program of the CIA and the Obama administration—drone assassinations of individuals, including US citizens, placed on presidential “kill lists.”

Birds and African, Asian and European children


This video is called How Kids Save Swifts. It says about itself:

2 December 2014

A short video presenting a valuable initiative of a workshop for school kids in Gdynia (Poland) on building homes for Swifts.

From BirdLife:

Spring Alive springs to action for migratory bird conservation

By Shaun Hurrell, Fri, 05/12/2014 – 08:22

As migratory birds are settling in for winter in Africa, we reflect back on another successful season of Spring Alive. As well as celebrating the arrival of migratory birds, this year children and adults have been acting for their conservation all the way from Eurasia to Africa in this BirdLife educational conservation initiative coordinated by OTOP (BirdLife in Poland).

This year in Europe and Asia, nearly 67,000 children enjoyed welcoming their avian visitors, learned about their conservation, and took photos as they engaged in Spring Alive migration-themed activities. Over 500 events were held; over 1200 teachers used Spring Alive resources in their lessons; and a photo competition captured the magic of migration.

Spring Alive encourages children and adults to take action for the migratory birds they learn about. All across the flyway, Partners and participants have been protecting swift nesting sites, installing and repairing nest boxes, building nest platforms for swallows, monitoring nesting locations of bee-eaters, fitting transmitters to cuckoos, looking after stork nests, promoting stickers to prevent bird collisions with glass, campaigning against illegal hunting, and more.

By posting their first sightings of Barn Swallow, White Stork, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, and European Bee-eater on the http://www.springalive.net website, children from Europe, Central Asia and Africa create a real-time map of the incredible journeys these birds take every year. As well as by these migratory routes, Eurasian and African schools are also connected with matching initiatives like ‘Spring Twin’.

Winners of the photo competition organised on the Spring Alive flickr page were from Slovenia, Poland and Montenegro. This year, the Spring Alive website was adapted to compliment the increased use of mobile phone for internet browsing in Eurasia and Africa.

Spring Alive is in its 8th year and is getting bigger. For the first time, this year children from Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Tunisia were also able to share in the common wonder of bird migration and conservation as these countries join a total of 54 participating countries in the campaign.

As the African season comes to a close, we wait with anticipation for the results and hope to better the current record of 3.7 million people reached by Spring Alive.

Likewise, we wait in Europe for the return of the birds next year. Migratory birds face threats from climate change including drought and mis-timing of the emergence of insects; agriculture; urbanisation; and hunting. With appreciation and support of local children, hopefully these birds can find enough food and shelter to continue to return year after year.

Spring Alive in Europe & Asia in numbers:

303 outdoor events and 200 indoor events held
1,205 teachers used Spring Alive resources for their lessons
Nearly 67,000 children and over 7,189 adults directly engaged in Spring Alive
649 volunteers were directly involved in Spring Alive activities
1665 seniors took part in Spring Alive activities
54 Partners involved, including 14 from Africa

Spring Alive is an international campaign to encourage children’s interest in nature and the conservation of migratory birds. Spring Alive is organised by OTOP, the BirdLife Partner in Poland, on behalf of the BirdLife Partnership. Wildlife groups, teachers and others who would like to become more involved in Spring Alive should contact the International Manager, Karolina Kalinowska, at karolina.kalinowska@otop.org.pl.

For more information go to: www.springalive.net

Follow Spring Alive on YouTube and flickr.

Eurobirdwatch 2014 sees 2.5 million migrating birds


This video is about bird migration.

From BirdLife:

Eurobirdwatch 2014 sees 2.5 million migrants in the air

By Elodie Cantaloube, Mon, 20/10/2014 – 08:18

On the weekend 4–5 October, over 23,000 people took part in the most exciting nature event of the autumn: the annual Eurobirdwatch. From Portugal to Kazakhstan, from Malta to Norway, BirdLife Partners invited people of all ages to discover and observe the fascinating migration of birds. The result of these two days of fun, exchange and learning was the observation of over 2.5 million birds as they migrated to southern countries in search of suitable wintering grounds.

In autumn, some species of birds, the so-called migratory birds, leave the north, where they breed in spring and summer and head to their wintering grounds in the south. The migration of several thousands of birds of different species is a unique spectacle; the BirdLife Partnership aims to offer everyone the opportunity to witness it.

Eurobirdwatch was created for this very reason: every year, on the first weekend of October when migrations reach their peak, BirdLife Partners organise a range of birdwatching events throughout Europe and Central Asia and encourage children, families, bird lovers and the simply curious to join them to enjoy the show.

This year, for the 21st anniversary of Eurobirdwatch, about 900 events were organised by BirdLife Partners in 40 countries. The most frequently seen species were Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris, Common Coot Fulica atra and Mallard Anas platyrhynchos.

Over the years, Eurobirdwatch has become increasingly successful, attracting growing numbers of participants, and becoming a magnet for VIPs wanting to participate. This year, the Diplomatic Corps in Montenegro, the British Ambassador in Uzbekistan, the US Ambassador, the Deputy Minister of Nature Protection and special representatives of NGOs in Armenia as well as the Minister for Health and the Environment in Gibraltar all took part.

Find more information about the events, the ornithological highlights in every country and photos of the 21st Eurobirdwatch at www.eurobirdwatch.eu.

Eurasian lynx video


This is a French video about the Eurasian lynx; with English subtitles.

EuroBirdwatch, 4-5 October 2014


This video is called Eurobirdwatch 2013 – Maramures Romania.

From BirdLife:

Join us for a fascinating birdwatching weekend on 4 – 5 October

By Elodie Cantaloube, Fri, 12/09/2014 – 13:08

EuroBirdwatch – BirdLife’s biggest birdwatching event in Europe and Central Asia – will take place this year on the weekend of 4 – 5 October. Join us to explore the beauty of birds and experience the magic of bird migration!

Created in 1993, EuroBirdwatch aims to give the opportunity to the youngest as well as the oldest, to confirmed nature lovers as well as the simply curious, to observe the unique migration of birds and to promote efforts to save threatened bird species and their habitats.

As they have done every year on the first weekend of October since its inception, BirdLife national Partners will be organising a wide variety of activities and events across Europe and Central Asia. These will include birdwatching excursions, special birdwatching events on organic farms, contests for children to identify birds by their song, bird fairs, trips to watch birds in national parks and many more activities.

In 2013, EuroBirdwatch was celebrating its 20th anniversary. To mark this special occasion, that year 19,000 people, including children and families, took part in many events organised by the BirdLife Partners in Europe and Central Asia. More than two million birds of different species were counted and reported to the BirdLife Research Center.

Participate in EuroBirdwatch 2014!

Book your time for the weekend 4 – 5 October. Find your national EuroBirdwatch coordinator, which will be the BirdLife Partner in your country. Choose your event and enjoy your birdwatching!

If you are a BirdLife Partner and you want to take part in EuroBirdwatch 2014, to find useful information for registration and organisation please contact Birgit Gödert-Jacoby, EuroBirdwatch Advisor.