A conservation campaign against the illegal trapping of wild birds has been given a boost by a British wildlife holiday group.
A group from Honeyguide Wildlife Holidays has donated 1000 euros to the campaign run by SPEA, Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves (BirdLife in Portugal).
SPEA's campaign aims to draw attention to an increasing problem of the illegal trapping wild birds, sometimes then sold for food.
According to SPEA, bird-trapping is not a new problem but seems to be on the increase, perhaps linked to increasing unemployment and attempts to exploit wildlife to find new sources of income. SPEA wants to change mind sets and to stress that catching wild birds is illegal. It also wants to make sure the law is applied in a more effective way.
The birdwatching and wildlife group from Honeyguide Wildlife Holidays, which is based in Norwich, England, made the donation while on a recent visit to Algarve and Alentejo.
Honeyguide proprietor Chris Durdin explained how all Honeyguide holidays include a conservation donation as part of the price of the holiday. “We like to contribute to the protection of the wildlife that we come to Portugal to enjoy, and we are very pleased to have a long-running partnership with SPEA in Portugal,” he said.
Domingos Leitão from SPEA said: "This donation will be used to produce leaflets to distribute in local schools, clubs and events. We are making people aware that catching small birds is wrong and illegal and they should call the authorities any time they see it.”
This donation brings the total given to SPEA since the first Honeyguide holiday in mainland Portugal in 2005 to £4,974. The total for conservation contributions from all Honeyguide holidays passed £100,000 during 2015 and now stands at £103,528.
For more information on SPEA’s campaign against the illegal trapping of wild birds please visit http://www.spea.pt/en/participate/campaigns/ilegal-trapping/
Honeyguide’s annual holiday in mainland Portugal moves between Algarve & Alentejo, based in Alte and Vila do Bispo, and in Central Portugal, based near Santarem and Marvão. For next year, in May 2016, Douro Internacional and Montesinho Natural Parks in northeast Portugal is their latest destination.
Honeyguide Wildlife Holidays is exceptional among wildlife holiday companies as it has a Charitable Trust, through which its donations to conservation projects are passed to local conservation organisations.