Training volunteers for the protection of Wildlife in the Cyclades
The newly formed CARE FOR WILDLIFE IN THE CYCLADES Network (Cyclades Care for Wildlife/ CCfW) organized in early November in Syros three days of meetings, briefings and trainings, including the demonstration of rescue techniques for marine mammals, turtles and wild birds, with the aim of enhancing the protection of iconic and often vulnerable or even endangered species encountered in the Cyclades, through the coordinated action of volunteers and competent bodies.
The Network was created in the framework of its cooperation Cyclades Preservation Fund (CPF) and specialized wildlife care organizations Society for the Study and Protection of the Mediterranean Seal (MOm), Cetacean Rescue and Care Research Center (ARION), Association for the Care and Protection of Wild Animals (ALKYONI) and Naxos Wildlife Protection Association, and is expected to be a strong ally of active local bodies and collectives active in environmental protection issues as well as of the competent local and national authorities. Cyclades Care For Wildlife is supported by EKKA YACHTS, while his support for the next actions has already been expressed by Blue Marine Foundation.
In the context of the three days in Syros, the representatives of the Network had organized meetings with Harbor Master and the relevant port officials of Syroshis administration Forestry of Syros-Cyclades and with its executives Central Aegean Protected Areas Unit/Natural Environment and Climate Change Organization (OFYPEKA). In the informative event where specialized suggestions were presented by the four wild animal care organizations as well as in the practical trainings demonstrating rescue techniques, additional officials of Environment Directorate of the Municipality of Syros-Ermoupoliits representatives WWF Hellas, her COINSEP Apano Meriaof the organization All for Blue, of the organization Dive in Actiontourism businesses, teachers, his representative Ermoupolis Industrial Museum, veterinarians and many interested citizens who expressed a desire to participate as volunteers in the Network. Furthermore, in the framework of the actions of the Network in Syros, its promotion was organized documentary MEDITERRANEAN-Besieged Sea and release of two little owls Athena noctua who had been found injured in Syros and now returned to their “island”, after many months of treatment at the Hospital of the ALKYONI Wildlife Care and Protection Association in Paros.
The Network has already created expression of interest forms for volunteers as well as observation forms in the event of an encounter with wildlife species in the Cyclades (see below) and invites residents and visitors to make use of them. In the second year, the forms will also be available in English.
“We are very optimistic with the great and warm response we had to the first trip of the Network CYCLADES CARE FOR WILDLIFE in Syros. People who love and respect animals but above all understand the self-worth of the presence of wild life in the Cyclades can practically help to protect and preserve it. Our goal is to encourage and educate people on the islands, so that they can participate willingly and actively in recording – simple but important for scientists – data, as well as in providing first aid to save emblematic and often vulnerable or even endangered species, such as dolphins, whales, Mediterranean seals, sea turtles and migratory birds. Thanks on his behalf CPF both the members and supporters of our Network and the local agencies for their trust and our excellent cooperation.“, she says in this regard Annie MitropoulouExecutive Director of Cyclades Preservation Fund (CPF) which coordinates the actions of the Network and is already planning the next visit of its members to different geographical points of the Cyclades.
“The Cyclades are home to some of the most important Mediterranean Seal breeding grounds worldwide. THE MOm invites you to contribute to the effective protection of Europe’s rarest mammal by actively participating in the Network “Cyclades Care for Wildlife” as volunteers and “ambassadors” for the species, submitting your observations and helping to identify and rescue animals in need.” says Dr. Panagiotis Dendrinos – President of MOm who participated in the informative and educational actions together with the Biologist, member of the dissemination team of MOm Kimona Koemtzopoulos.
“For the effective protection and rescue of wild animals, the participation and cooperation of all agencies, care organizations and citizens is crucial, and the first step was taken in Syros. Especially when it comes to endangered species, such as the sea turtle, immediate intervention to any person found in need of help is important for their conservation.” says the Giannis Orphanos President of the Naxos Wildlife Protection Association which participated in the training together with Oceanographer, Member of the Association Sophia Lykouropoulou.
“The ARIA Cetacean Rescue and Care Research Center contributes to the understanding and protection of the health of cetaceans and their habitats, with a focus on the rescue and care of those that are washed ashore on the coasts of our country. With this in mind, the sustainability of the Cyclades Wildlife Volunteer Network is based on teamwork, mutual support, training and mobilization of local environmental “cores” in the Cyclades island complex who will be able to coordinately support an incident in the field, until the veterinarian or other trained scientist.”, she characteristically adds Dr. Emilia Druga, Biologist, Geologist, Oceanographer, Co-Founder and CEO of ARION who participated in the informative and educational activities together with the Marine Biologist Elena Akritopoulou, suggest Doctor of the University of Thessaly and scientific member of ARION. Finally, the Co-Founder and President of ARION, Professor of the Department of Veterinary Medicine, School of Health Sciences, AUTH and Coordinator of the National Network for Monitoring and Recording Spawning of Marine Wildlife Species Anastasia Komnenou participated online in the Syros information event providing more information on the National Network, the coordinated management of wildlife spills and the protection of public health.
“Thank you very much Cyclades Preservation Fund for the unique opportunity it gave us to communicate the work of ALKYONIS with the institutions and residents of Syros. We hope that the information initiative will continue in as many islands as possible in order to know and preserve the rare biodiversity of the Cyclades.», declares end o Marios Fournaris, Founder and Director of the Association for the Care and Protection of Wild Animals ALKYONI.
CYCLADES CARE FOR WILDLIFE/CARING FOR WILDLIFE IN THE CYCLADES
Sign up to join the Network:
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST TO PARTICIPATE AS A VOLUNTEER/MEMBER OF THE CYCLADES NETWORK
Wildlife sighting recording / reporting forms:
SEA TURTLE SIGHTING REPORT FORM IN THE CYCLADES
SEAL OBSERVATION REPORT FORM IN THE CYCLADES
CETHO OBSERVATION REPORT FORM IN THE CYCLADES
WILD BIRD WATCHING REPORT FORM IN THE CYCLADES
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Association for the Care and Protection of Wild Animals ALKYONI (headquarters in Paros)
Naxos Wildlife Protection Association
Society for the Study and Protection of the Mediterranean Seal MOm
Research Center for the Rescue and Care of Cetaceans ARIA
Cyclades Preservation Fund / CPF
Watch this dedication of Katerina Christofilidou ERT NEWS / INSERT ENVIRONMENT (6The minute) regarding CCfW’s actions in Syros HERE
Find HERE photos (credits: CPF/Lefteris Partsalis) from the three days of the Network in Syros.