Crane Juula Arrives in Slano Kopovo

The Estonian crane Juula has arrived at the nature reserve Slano Kopovo for a stopover on its long flight to the wintering grounds in North Africa. Researchers of the Estonian university at Tartu have equipped Juula and two more cranes with transmitters to be able to trace their journey to and from their wintering grounds. The researchers’ website shows the current station of the birds.

Juula, like ten thousands of other cranes, uses the so-called Adriatic Flyway on its trip to the wintering grounds in North Africa. It finds a safe sleeping place in the shallow waters of the salt marsh Slano Kopovo. The vast lowland of Vojvodina with its large acres provides substantial food for the cranes. Fortified, they continue their journey. This is of major importance because undisturbed resting places are hard to find as they further move on towards their wintering grounds. Troops of bird hunters lurk in the few intact wetlands, waiting for migratory birds, thus forcing the cranes to fly non-stop via the Dinaric Alps and the sea to Africa.

Due to the climate change, an increasing number of cranes try to over winter in Central Europe. Hence, alternative refuge areas in the Mediterranean region become more and more important. The over winterers can only survive sudden onsets of extremely cold winter if they can relocate to the warm Adriatic coast in Albania, Croatia or Montenegro for a short period.

EuroNatur and its national partners commit themselves to secure a network of hunting ban areas for migratory birds in these crucial habitats along the Adriatic coast. 130 scientists and conservationists from all over the world adopted a resolution to protect cranes in South-East Europe on the 7th European Crane Conference, which took place in Stralsund from 14-17 October 2010, with EuroNatur attending, too. The goal is to establish safe staging areas between the Hungarian plains and Africa.

More about the campaign “Crime Scene Adriatic Sea - Bird Hunting in the Balkans

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