European Stork Villages

Church tower with stork nests in the Stork Village of Belozem in Bulgaria.
Church tower with stork nests in the Stork Village of Belozem in Bulgaria.

With the “European Stork Villages” initiative EuroNatur has set up a movement to help counterbalance the habitat loss for storks in Europe. Each year since 1994 the foundation has honoured the contribution of a different village with the title European Stork Village. Candidates for the title are villlages or parishes with resident stork colonies. The local people have put time and energy into the protection of storks, for example by adopting extensive farming of large areas of wetland. With the title, the communities are internationally recognized as special cultural and natural heritage sites. In this way we are working to encourage successful approaches to the protection of storks. In 2010 the "Brainstorming for Storks" project competition of the European Stork Villages gave fresh impetus to the work.



From water-meadow to steppe – a network for diversity

Part of the network of European Stork Villages (a map in the photo gallery illustrates this) are among others the village of Cigoc in Croatian Sava water-meadows and Rühstadt on the river Elbe. In their full range the European Stork Villages embody the diversity of meadows and pasture land in Europe - from the water-meadows of the river Sava and Elbe lowlands to the steppes of the Extremadura. Since 2004 the Europe-wide network meets in one of the Stork Villages to work together to develop solutions for a groundbreaking protection of storks. 



Photo gallery

Please click on one of the pictures to open the gallery.


What actions are EuroNatur and its partners taking?

  • Advancing the extension of the network of European Stork Villages, finding communities that will support the idea and counselling them.
  • Stimulating and supporting small projects with the "Brainstorming for Storks" project competition.
  • Organizing regular meetings of the Stork Village representatives to exchange ideas on approaches to stork protection.
  • Working for the preservation of species-rich meadows and grazing land in Europe by lobbying at EU level.
  • Creating perspectives for a sustainable development of the various stork-supportive communities in order to improve the situation for storks in the long term.

 

Examples of European Stork Villages:

  • The Maritza river landscape in Bulgaria: Belozem Stork Village
  • Storks in cultivated countryside in Switzerland at the Stork Village of Altreu



Partners: Mayors and nature conservationists in the Stork Villages, European Stork Village Network, Swiss Stork Society (Gesellschaft Storch Schweiz ) , European Stork Village Network,, Ornothlogical Society of Switzerland (Schweizer Vogelwarte), Ciconia  Foundation

Sponsoring: EuroNatur donors and sponsors



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