Join the campaign to publicize the largest network of protected areas in the world
21st of May: European Natura 2000 Day
- SEO/BirdLife and the EFE Agency lead this initiative, with the participation of 18 EU countries
- The campaign is based on a simple gesture: sending a photo in which people make the shape of a butterfly with their hands.
- As a response to all the photos received, SEO/BirdLife will coordinate a special conservation activity in Doñana, one of the most important sites of the Natura 2000 network in Europe
21st of May is European Natura 2000 Day, an initiative of SEO/BirdLife (the BirdLife International partner in Spain) and the news agency EFE. With this celebration, all European citizens are encouraged to discover the stunning riches of these protected sites, where nature and human life go hand in hand. This celebration is part of the Life+ project Natura 2000: Connecting people with biodiversity, led by SEO/BirdLife and EFE, and supported by the European Commission
The Natura 20000 Day invites citizens to make simple gestures in favour of preserving natural areas and the natural values found there. Every year, the gestures will contribute to the conservation of a particular Natura 2000 site in Europe. For this year´s campaign, the site chosen is Doñana in Spain.
The flutter of a butterfly’s wings can change the world
The website www.natura2000day.eu has been created so that everyone can participate in the celebration with a small gesture, by publishing a photo in which people make the shape of a butterfly with their hands. If the picture is published on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, tag it with #Natura2000Day
As a response to the gestures received, SEO/BirdLife will coordinate a special conservation activity in Doñana, one of the most important sites of the Natura 2000 network in Europe. For each photo published, we will restore 25m2 of “La Rocina”, the stream that represents the main water inflow of the Rocío marshes, and we will clear 16 grams of lead shotgun pellets from Doñana’s sandy soils- enough to kill 25 geese.
For each photo published: 25m2 of ‘La Rocina’ restored and 16 grams of shotgun pellets cleared
The ‘Rocío’ marshes is one of the most visited places in Doñana as it is a strategic point for birdwatching. Unfortunately, its main inflow, ‘La Rocina’ is suffering from an invasion of the exotic invasive plant Xanthium strumarium that is displacing native flora and forming very dense canopies that are taking over the space and light. One of the most spectacular events of Doñana’s winter is the concentration of more than 50,000 geese in the “Cerro de los Ánsares”. Every morning at sunrise, they gather to eat sand which helps to digest the tough roots of marshland plants which form an important part of their diet. Although hunting here has been forbidden since 1980, shotgun pellets are still found in the area and it is a serious conservation problem as just a few ingested pellets can kill an adult goose. In addition, lead from the pellets remains in the carcase and becomes part of the food chain, affecting large predators and scavengers, such as the Spanish imperial eagle.
Spain leads the celebration of European Natura 2000 Day, joined this year by Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and the UK, each country participating through its national BirdLife International partner.