Snow Stops Flock of Cranes

Snow and storm – winter temperatures still prevail in Europe. Nevertheless, the crane “Renttimä” has already set off from its wintering grounds in Libya end of February, returning home to its breeding grounds in the north of Finland along the Adriatic Flyway. Presently, it is held back by the bad weather in Montenegro, which delays its journey.

A group of researchers of the Finnish university Turku have equipped Renttimä and three other cranes with transmitters so that they can trace their flight routes to and from their wintering grounds. The website of the researchers shows the current stay of the birds. Like ten thousands of other cranes, Renttimä uses the so-called Adriatic Flyway - from the wintering grounds in North Africa via the Adriatic Coast and the Balkans.

During their long and exhausting journey, the birds need resting areas where they can get new energy to continue their trip. The Bojana-Buna delta, with its lagoons and agricultural meadows, at the borders of Albania and Montenegro, would provide ideal conditions for a stopover. However, excessive poaching prevents the birds from landing there and only few stay in this area. Renttimä flew over this dangerous region, too. Exhausted by the long flight, it went down on the karst territory Nikic Polje in the hinterland of Montenegro. It is still held up there by the bad weather conditions.

During the last decades, 80% of the former wetlands along the eastern Adriatic coast were sacrificed for agriculture and tourism. In addition, every year bird hunters lurk and swarm around in the little intact wetlands to shoot the exhausted birds without mercy. EuroNatur and their partners make special efforts in the various countries to secure the precious habitats for migratory birds along the Adriatic coast as a network of protected areas for no hunting. Together with their partners, they make their presence felt. They control the territories to stop the hunting for cranes and other birds.


Link to website of the research group for cranes of the university of Turku

More about the campaign “Crime Scene Adriatic Coast – Bird Hunting on the Balkans”

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