In addition to becoming a Silent Forest Signatory and supporting conservation projects financially you can also initiate important awareness and education activities.
As an EAZA member:
Raise awareness and knowledge in your institution.
For all visitors:
- Information panels. The EAZA campaign teams provides you with open source information panels, which you can implement in your zoo. Use them as they are, or take them as a starting point to have a designer change the panels more in a way that fits your own zoo’s house style.
- Keeper talks. Think about integrating the campaign theme into one of the keepers’ talks. Or why not starting up an own, special campaign keeper talk at an enclosure of threatened Asian birds… or of other animals threatened by pet trade? The section with information on the different bird species in this campaign, targets and projects will make it more easy for you to work out a good story line for the keepers’ talk!
- Activity days. Pick a weekend or just a day and set threatened Asian birds in the spotlights in your zoo. In most zoos, birds are underrepresented when it comes to special days or activities – grab the change to get people interested in birds! We provide you with ideas and resources. Recruit zoo-volunteers in all ages to be songbird advocates and to help you with campaign promotion marketing and education activities.
- Powerpoint presentation. Quite some zoos offer outreach education programs to local schools. Here is a link to a Powerpoint presentation which you can use during a 45 minutes session on Asian songbirds and their threats. Your zoo’s education team is allowed to use it during outreach programs as they like it; but you can also put it on your website as resource material for eg children looking for information for their presentations at school. Just don’t forget to remove it from the website after the campaign is closed in 2019.
- Song on Songbirds. Lots of elementary schools have nature themes and work on endangered species. Chester zoo has written a very catchy song on threatened Asian songbirds.
Subscription holders, Zoo club members :
- In a lot of zoos there are regular guided tours, children’s tours or children’s clubs for season card holders. Integrate the Asian songbird campaign in those activities! For the real zoo-fans it might even be a nice idea participate in a tour looking back on all the EAZA’s nature conservation campaigns; who remembers what they were about, what has been achieved in conservation since then?
- Lectures. Evening lectures attract faithful and eager-to-learn yearcard holders in many zoos. A lecture on the theme of the campaign might be a surprisingly interesting topic! No one in your zoo is able to talk on Asian songbirds and the campaign’s background for an hour or so? Check out the section on what the members of national zoo federations and individual zoos could mean to each other!
- Or use Birdmike. This ‘birdvoice pen’ can recognize patterns on eg paper and give the correct bird’s voice of over 290 European birds. You get software for free so that you can upload the songs of exotic birds as well! http://www.birdmike.co.uk/. Sound fragments of the campaign species are provided here.
- Social media. Whether you very actively engage in the Songbird campaign or not, it might be nice to share a few tweets or Facebook messages with your community on the campaign. A great way to stress the common effort of the zoo world for conservation! In the campaign e-newsletter there will be examples of social media messages you can use in as inspiration or just copy-paste.
- The campaign team produced a short animated film on the campaign issue, thanks to Zoo Liberec. Put the film on your website and/or share it in your social media.
- Press. Don’t forget good old classic press releases. Whenever there is a suitable chance due to an animal species arriving, a bird hatching, or an activity taking place, please have your communication department include the EAZA campaign.
- Bring the topic of pet trade of endangered Asian species to the attention by promoting the ‘Wildlife Witness’ app. With this app, travellers can alarm TRAFFIC by reporting animals on Asian markets on an easy way. This app combines engaging citizens in conservation, reporting wildlife crime and helping trafficked animals. For further information about the app and to download, please visit http://www.wildlifewitness.net. Chester Zoo is the European zoo partner for Wildlife Witness. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to get involved in this project.
- Bird breeders. Try to get in touch with bird keepers or bird breeder clubs in your neighbourhood. Those people are interested in birds and bird conservation far more than average; they might get involved in a useful way, or at least publish an article on campaign issues in their magazine.
- It is a great opportunity to develop relationship to your local BirdLife Partner organisation (find yours at: www.birdlife.org/worldwide/partnership/birdlife-partners) and highlight its activities to your visitors. The organisation will help you promote awareness on the Asian Songbird Crisis within your country and get people involved in citizen science activities for local songbirds as well.
- Review your Institutional Collection Plan and see if there is more space for threatened Asian Songbirds in your collection. Get in touch with the EAZA Passerine TAG or review the new RCP for passerines to review your options. Check the Passeriformes TAG page on the member area of the EAZA website.
- Start seriously focussing on breeding with some of the (flagship) species.
- Make off show aviary space available to be able to keep more pairs and increase the chances on breeding success.
- Adopt the new or updated Best Practise Guidelines (as soon as these are published) for all focus species under ex-situ management and support and promote in-situ projects or in-region breeding programs.
- Explain to visitors about ethical issues related to keeping tropical birds as pets, and promote keeping domesticated species instead.
Institutions not actually keeping Asian Songbirds may still participate by using audio education material . On the Silent Forest websites you can download a range of new or updated resources during the campaign period which you are invited to use.
Every human being
Helping is easy. Here are is a few tips.
- While you are on vacation in the Asian region, help detect illegal wildlife trade by using the smartphone app Wildlife Witness. This app allows tourists and locals to easily report wildlife trade by taking a photo, pinpointing the exact location of the crime and sending these important details to TRAFFIC, one of the main campaign partners.
- Help spread the information about the crisis among other tourists and locals in your home area. But not just for the trade in Asia, even in France and Mediterranean region songbirds such as Ortolan Buntings and Blackcaps are illegally captured and eaten. Support the campaign against bird killing (see http://www.birdlife.org/campaign/stop-illegal-bird-killing).
- Record wild birds on vacation or at your home using birding smartphone apps, such as eBird. These apps provide an opportunity to share your bird data with researchers and other birders directly from the field, making your birding more valuable to conservation and helping you track your observations over time.
- Although Southeast Asian songbirds seem to be so far away and you don´t travel much beyond your backyard, you can still help conserve local bird populations. Join the citizen science projects organised by birdwatching clubs and get involved in local bird surveys.
- Help us to collect binoculars! Give your old binoculars at the zoo or organize a binocular collection at school or at your company or club. In order to advertise „birding“ we will provide your discarded (but still functional!) binoculars and inspire local people in Asia s to develop empathy towards the environment and stimulate them to protect it. The binoculars will be distributed to eco-centers across Indonesia via NGO Greenbooks.org that helps to raise awareness about nature and sustainable practices in communities using children’s education and books as a starting point. Furthermore well guided bird migrations are in vogue and tourist pay for them, this is a good possibility for local guides to earn .
- It is quite simple to create a bird-friendly garden with just a little time and effort. Many songbirds that used to be commonly seen in European gardens are decreasing in numbers. By turning your garden into a small-scale, bird-friendly reserve, you can make a difference to local bird populations. It is a great chance to teach children to take care of the environment by involving them in planning and making your garden bird-friendly. For more information you can also visit previous EAZA campaign Let it Grow websites: http://www.letitgrow.eu/.
- In winter, of course, you can install a bird-feeder, which is a great way to enjoy wildlife at its best. Prepare winter food for birds together with kids and you may sell it to gather money for the campaign. Before spring put up your own nest-box and help increase the breeding success of local birds.
- Prevent bird collisions by reducing transparency and reflectivity of dangerous glass areas. See this website, and here and here.
- Keep your domestic cat indoors and encourage friends and family who keep cats to do the same.