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Frontpage News 2012 Wings over Europe


Slovakia-Liechtenstein bird fauna protection

  • More than 40 students from 2 secondary schools in Liechtenstein and Slovakia are cooperating on the "Flight over Europe" project. Students learn how to coordinate environmental protection efforts and protect the bird fauna of the Danube Lowland.

    The Hubeneho Gymnasium in Bratislava, Slovakia and the Liechtensteinisches Gymnasium in Vaduz, Liechtenstein cooperate to teach students about protecting the biodiversity of the Danube lowlands and Liechtenstein, focusing especially on the bird fauna. Students are also taught about ecological farming and sustainable natural sources of energy.

    The environmental protection of birds and their habitats poses a particular challenge. As birds migrate, they cover considerable distances. It is therefore necessary to protect both the regions of their reproduction and the conditions for resting and gathering food along the migratory flight paths. The focus area of the project is the Danube lowlands, especially the Poitavie area, where human interference has caused degradation of important biotopes. Rare animal species bound to bog, meadow and steppe environments have already declined or become extinct.

    Through a 2-week study camp in Slovakia, carried out this year, and a 2-week study camp in Liechtenstein planned for next year, students observe migratory patterns and learn how the individual links of the ecosystem interact and depend on one another. Students have installed more than 80 nest bases and nest boxes for songbirds and owls, concentrating primarily on alluvial meadows ecosystems. These meadows have undergone several changes due to the decline in traditional farming techniques. The absence of mowing and grassing have led to the meadows being overgrown, resulting in the rise of floodplain forests and thus threatening the existence of these meadows' bird habitats. Important activities therefore include raking hay and biomass as well as monitoring nest boxes and bird migration patterns.

    The project is carried out in close cooperation with experts from 2 environmental non-governmental organisations (NGO), the Slovak Ornithological Society/BirdLife Slovakia and the Botanisch-Zoologische Gesellschaft (BZG) in Liechtenstein. BirdLife Slovakia is part of the BirdLife International network, which covers more than 100 ornithological societies worldwide and coordinates environmental protection initiatives.

    Picture credit: Ján Gúgh/BirdLife Slovakia.

  • Country:


    Project title:

    NIL Fund Supporting Cooperation in the Field of Education

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Human resource development


    € 47 492



    Type & project assistance:

    Block grant

    Project promoter:

    Seconary Grammar School Hubeného

    Type of institution:

    Education/research institution

    Project duration:

    46 months

    Project cost:

    € 2,245,722

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    EEA and Norway Grants, Slovak Scholarship Fund

    Grant agreement date:

    27 August 2007

    The purpose of the Fund is to develop cooperation among students, lecturers and experts of secondary schools and higher educational institutions in Slovakia and the donor states, with the overall objective of contributing to the training of a flexible labour force able to adapt to the requirements of a knowledge-based society in Slovakia . Reference is made to the application, dated 13 January 2006, and information from the Focal Point, dated 30 August 2007 and 5 April 2007.

    The completed Fund shall include the following activities and results:

    - Re-granting towards secondary school and higher education institution projects;

    - Fund management;

    - Publicity measures.

    The Intermediary is the Slovak Academic Information Agency (SAIA).

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the state budget of the Slovak Republic will provide at least 15 percent of the estimated eligible costs of the Fund.