Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Saving Europe's Birds - Eilat Sanctuary

At least 500 million birds of 200 different species fly across Israel each spring and autumn en route to and from Africa, Europe and Asia.

International Center for the Study of Bird Migration in central Latrun has a range of projects protecting migrating birds during their long trip. It has a radar warning system for military and commercial pilots aimed at preventing bird strikes, a common danger during take-off and landing.

International Birdwatching Center of the Jordan Valley at Kfar Ruppin has developed and shared strategies to protect the hungry travellers from getting entangled in the nets topping the many commercial fish ponds in the area and from ingesting pesticides as they peck in its vast agricultural fields.

In partnership with Israel's Nature Reserve Authority, IBCJV offers fish farms alternative wide-stringed nets less likely to snare birds. When necessary, its staff rescues, rings and sets free fish-eating pelicans, cormorants and herons that do get stuck. Any wounded birds are sent for treatment at a hospital in the Ramat Gan Safari.

To keep farmers and birds happy, the best solution has been setting up barn owl and kestrel nesting boxes as part of a national effort to introduce this natural rodent-control method. Reducing pesticide use benefits everyone from the migratory birds to the end consumer.

In another longstanding cooperative venture, the IBCJV partners with Israel Electric to keep larger migrating birds such as pelicans, herons and white storks from being electrocuted on power lines. IBCJV identifies locations where the electric company needs to install insulation around the high-voltage wires so when the birds sit on the poles and touch the wires with their wings, they do not get electrocuted and do not damage the system.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Making energy out of water

ShowerIt's Israel's turn to chair EUREKA, the EU's pan-European R&D clean-tech grants machine and Israel is eager to find new sources of energy.

Their latest endeavor involves seeking energy from something that already exists--moving water from municipal sources, pipelines, and waterways.
Imagine turning waste water into viable more about it here.

Over here I enjoyed a day on the water, till next time,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sea Turtle Rescue

The turtles face a gamut of manmade dangers: pollution, plastic bags and other seaborne litter; outboard motors and fishing nets; jeeps hurtling along beaches. About 50 injured turtles are brought to the Rescue Center every year, most of them hurt by human activity. The success rate in saving injured reptiles is about 65 percent.

For more than two decades, Israel National Nature and Parks Authority rangers have patrolled the Mediterranean coastline during hatching season, transferring eggs from nests to protected hatcheries. To date, at least 50,000 hatchlings have been released to protected sections of beach. Young turtles' low survival rate -- only one in every 100 hatchlings lives to reach reproductive age -- means that every egg saved can have an impact.

The Knesset has passed a series of laws to protect Israel's beaches. It is now illegal to build any structure within 100 meters of the Mediterranean coastline. Light from restaurants, banquet halls and nightclubs no longer disorients the young hatchlings, sending them in the wrong direction. Legislation has also outlawed driving vehicles on the beaches - a real threat to nesting spots and the hatchlings as they make their way to the water over a period of one to four days.

Israel Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project allows to trace loggerhead & green turtles online.

Source: Israel21c