Preservation of Habitats

Meadows and grazing land instead of feeding boxes

© Alfred Limbrunner
© Alfred Limbrunner

The feeding of storks above all in the winter months is still current practice unfortunately in France, the Netherlands and sadly also in a few places in Germany. This has serious consequences for storks. Birds that are fed give up their migratory behaviour and their offspring also often stay in the breeding grounds the whole year. In addition the birds that overwinter here and are fed here occupy the best breeding spots and chase off the wild, migrating storks. Migrating storks are drawn by the extra feeding and then also begin to give up flying to their winter quarters. The final effect is that wild storks become domesticated birds, standing by the feeding boxes waiting to be fed.

 

Feeding is “fatal”
Many advocates of feeding argue that this is the only way the storks can survive the winter. This is not true. Quite the contrary: storks can get by very well without being fed. The best example can be seen in Switzerland at Altreu, to which EuroNatur awarded the title of European Stork Village in 2008. This village shows in exemplary manner that is perfectly possible to re-conquer habitats for storks even in intensively farmed cultivated landscapes. Feeding is completely superfluous there, because alongside intensively cultivated land there are also species-rich wet meadows within a protection zone covering 1500 hectares. To protect the White Storks in the long term it is imperative to stop feeding.

 

What actions is EuroNatur taking?

  • Campaigning for the conservation of species-rich meadows and grazing land in Europe. These offer storks sufficient habitat in otherwise cultivated country.

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