As part of the World Migratory Bird Day celebrations, WLI and colleagues across the world worked with wetland centres and local schools to explore the importance of these sites in supporting the flyway of many migratory bird species. Schools were invited to visit the wetlands, carry out fieldwork and study with centre staff, and then join in a video conference with other schools connected to the flyway.
In the East Atlantic Flyway our Migratory Birds for People partners worked to hold two videoconferences with school children, one in French and on in English. We were also joined by Marie Mevellec from the Convention on Migratory Species. Partners from the Netherlands, the Basque Country, France, Senegal and Morocco all discussed challenges faced by the birds, and what humans can do to help them. You can see videos prepared by the groups from Terschelling, Oostvaardersplasse and Urdaibai. See World Migratory Birds Day in action at Terschelling. The children asked each other questions, and said that the best things we can do are to leave nature in peace, keep track of birds through surveys, and respect the birds.
In the Americas, Environment for the Americas (EFTA) led the project, welcoming schools from Chile, Argentina and Mexico. During the video conference our colleague at EFTA demonstrated different adaptions of wetland birds. Key things that came out of the discussions with the young people were the need to share information, work together to protect wetlands and to protect the wetlands that they depend upon.
We hope to repeat this project in October, the second opportunity to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day, and next May. If you and your local schools would like to take part, please contact Chris Rostron, Head of WLI.