Jonathan Franzen receives EuroNatur Award 2015

On 14th October, Jonathan Franzen will receive the 2015 EuroNatur Award for his active involvement in the protection of birds.

© (c) Shelby Graham

Active Commitment to the Protection of Wild Birds

Press Release, 7th October 2015

Radolfzell.  In a week, on 14th October, Jonathan Franzen, probably the most renowned US American author today, will receive the 2015 EuroNatur Award. “We are honoured to offer the award to Jonathan Franzen for his active involvement in the protection of birds” says Christel Schroeder, President of the Nature Conservation Foundation EuroNatur.
The future bearer of this award has contributed significantly to the establishment of a hunting moratorium in the whole of Albania. This country is one of the main hotspots of bird hunting in the Balkans, where every year more than 2 million migrating birds are shot down along the Adriatic Flyway.

In the spring of 2012 Jonathan Franzen accompanied EuroNatur for two weeks on a research trip to all the most important resting places along the Eastern Adriatic coast, from the Karavasta national Park in Albania to the Neretva-Delta in Croatia. He talked to hunters, observed illegal practices and shed light on the background of bird hunting in the Balkans.

His contribution to the magazine National Geographic “Last Song for Migrating Birds” showed impressively how bird hunting on the Eastern Adriatic coast counteracts the hard work and expense involved in programmes for their protection in the breeding areas of migrating birds. Albanian nature conservationists in cooperation with European-wide initiatives had prepared the ground for reform. But it was his article which was distributed to the appropriate ministries in Albania that has crucially influenced the debate in the country.

As Christel Schroeder points out “Jonathan Franzen was not willing to accept this senseless slaughter and his voice was heard. With his rousing appeal he has reached the government and members of parliament in a country which previously had an established and horrifying practice of hunting.”

Background information:

  • EuroNatur Award: Previous Award winners have among others been Prince Charles, Michail Gorbatschow, Dr. Ernst Paul Dörfler, Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Luc Hoffmann und Dr. Hans Bibelriether. The EuroNatur Award is not endowed with a prize. The award honours outstanding efforts for nature conservation. The EuroNatur-Award for 2015 will be presented to Jonathan Franzen on 14th October 2015 on the island of Mainau on Lake Constance.
  • About Jonathan Franzen: probably the most eminent contemporary US American writer. His novels, above all “Freedom” and “The Corrections”, are famous world-wide. September 2015 has seen the publication of his latest novel entitled “Purity” published by FSG (in German „Unschuld“, in Rowohlt Verlag). Jonathan Franzen is a writer who tackles the central themes of contemporary life in depth and these themes include environmental pollution, the destruction of nature and loss of species diversity.
  • More about the work of EuroNatur to prevent bird hunting in the Balkans
  • Link to Jonathan Franzen’s Article “Last Song for Migrating Birds” on the website of the National Geographic Magazine


Enquiries to:

EuroNatur, Konstanzer Straße 22, 78315 Radolfzell, Tel.: 07732 - 92 72 10, Fax: 07732 - 92 72 22,,, Press Contact: Katharina Grund, Contact: Gabriel Schwaderer

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