Taking a bird’s eye view of Europe’s wildlife environments, Brussels has launched an awareness campaign with a twist… birds migrating southward to escape the northern winter will serve as unwitting publicity agents for the EU’s Natura 2000 network of protected areas.
Ecologist group WWF presented the pre-flight brief: more than a dozen Black Storks in eight EU countries have been equipped with radio transmitters so they can be tracked by satellite. Their journey will be traced and displayed on the Internet for the next 20 days. Film clips of the places thestorks are known to stop for rests along the way have been prepared, and whenever the bugged birds drop in at one of them fifteen partner television channels in 12 countries will broadcast the corresponding ‘postcard’ packages, each one-minute long. In the clips, it is as if the bird is talking: “I think I’ll touch down here in such-and-such a place.” Why Black Storks? Because white storks nest happily where people live.Black Storks stick to the wilds. They need uninhabited spaces, like a vast array of other animals. The Natura 2000 network covers 15 percent of the total EU surface. Its many sites are set aside to preserve biodiversity.