Guardians of the Wild – On the Road with Conservationists

1 x 52 min

Meadows and forests teeming with life are almost consigned to memory. Every day, 150 plant and animal species worldwide become extinct. But there are people who protect this wilderness, who spend time and effort doing so, and sometimes even risk their lives for it. For example, conservationists who go high up in the treetops to fit sea-eagle offspring with transmitters and rings to protect them. Sea eagles are the largest birds of prey in Central Europe; for decades they were extinct in Austria. Or a young goatherd who helps to preserve the bush and heath landscape of the foothills of the Alps with his migratory herd. His goats are the reason why many other plant and animal species are returning to the pastures as well. However, many people are also eager to devote their free time to the protection of animals. They go out to observe insects or birds, to map their territories, to document populations and broods. These observations are a treasure trove of data for species research: If you want to protect plants and animals, you need to know where they live and how many of each species there are. “Citizen Scientists” are making this happen. There are dozens of Citizen Science projects for biodiversity research and apps for identifying different species. Often a smartphone is all that’s needed for a non-scientist to participate in the research. And the more information that is collected and the more hands that are involved, the more effective the protection of the habitats needed by the flora and fauna.

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