Champions of the Flyway (COTF) is an extraordinary bird race for conservation, taking place annually, in the unparalleled migration hotspot of Eilat, Israel. The COTF-birdrace is focusing on raising awareness and funding for taking action against the illegal bird-killing along the major Flyways. The Vulture Conservation Foundation – Europe´s leading vulture conservation organization - fully supports these actions, which complement well the actions the VCF is taking to provide safe Flyways to the 4 species of vultures native to Europe,. So, this year the VCF joins hands with the Champions of the Flyway, to raise awareness on the importance of safe Flyways! This year, TeamVCF will participate in the race!
Bird migration is one of the most magical natural phenomenon’s in the World. But...it is also very dangerous. Migration comes with a lot of threats to all the birds flying from their breeding grounds to their wintering territories, the majority of which are man-made.
Every year, the Champions of the Flyway select a good cause which supports the safeguarding of the Flyways. This year, the cause selected is Doğa Derneği from Turkey. Doğa Derneği is already doing significant things on the ground both through education and enforcement to fight the illegal bird-killing. With the help of the 2017 Champions of the Flyway campaign they intend to “step up” the actions. Turkey is a very important bottleneck for migrating raptors and other soaring birds and sadly large numbers of these are killed illegally as they migrate to and from the breeding grounds.
Our team will consist of three Dutch birders: Hans Pohlmann (team captain), Lennaert Steen and David Uit de Weerd. They all are keen birders and have helped the VCF on several occasions already, for instance when Bearded Vultures Schils and Larzac needed help after travelling hundreds of kilometers outside their mountain-ranges. See the accounts regarding Schils and Larzac, by clicking on the links. They have been to Israel before and hold several birdrace-records in the Netherlands. Their main focus will be on raising awareness and publicity on safe Flyways, but off they will give their best in the Race as well J
In the coming weeks TeamVCF will share information about the importance of safe Flyways and their preparations for the Race. Please share this information and help us raise as much publicity as we can!