Kick-off: #HabitatHeroes – EUROPARC Junior Rangers for Protected Areas and Natura 2000
EUROPARC Junior Rangers discover and learn about the many valuable species and habitats of Protected Areas all over Europe – and beyond.
With their engagement they help to preserve our natural treasures and inspire their peers to grow more curious and caring about nature as well. EUROPARC Junior Rangers are true Habitat Heroes and as such we want to celebrate them once more!
To make the current activities of Junior Ranger network visible, EUROPARC Federation has launched a campaign together with Junior Ranger groups across Europe:
Meet our Habitat Heroes – EUROPARC Junior Rangers for Protected Areas and Natura 2000
How to learn more and keep track of the #HabitatHeroes campaign activities?
Over the rest of 2018 and throughout 2019 we will “map the field” and raise awareness for the great work Junior Ranger groups are currently doing for threatened flora, fauna and habitats in Protected Areas and Natura 2000 sites in particular.
- Visit the “Habitat Heroes” campaign website: For now, we are thrilled to introduce you to our Habitat Hero campaign pioneers – groups already taking action in 2018. You will find a growing map and overview of all Junior Ranger groups joining the campaign over 2019.
- Besides, you will meet our “Habitat Heroes” over the upcoming months in dedicated articles – make sure you follow our news!
- Keep an eye on social media – the #HabitatHeroes will provide you with exciting updates from our Junior Ranger groups that take part in the campaign. Don’t forget to share their actions!
- European Day of Parks – 24th May 2019 – will be all about “Our Natural Treasures” and our Junior Rangers are all invited to run a “Habitat Heroes” conservation activity dedicated to the natural treasure of their Protected Areas.
Want to join the campaign? We are happy to learn about your conservation action – just drop us a mail: s.burger_at_europarc.org
Time to meet our first #HabitatHeroes pioneers: The Kullaberg Junior Rangers introduce themselves!
by Tor Larsson, Kullaberg Junior Rangers Mentor
Kullaberg Nature Reserve is located in the south west of Sweden, on a peninsula with a ridge pointing out to the sea. The area has been inhabited since the stone-age and was in fact the first part of what today is Sweden to show when the continental glacier withdrew after the last glacial period. At the peak is a lighthouse overlooking the strait of Öresund and you can see the Danish coastline.
- Tell us all about your “natural treasure”: Which is the species or habitat you learn and work with the most in your Protected Area? What is special about it?
In the marine reserve of Kullaberg, you can see seals and harbour porpoise and the steep cliffs the peregrine falcon mate.Even though it is quite small, the Kullaberg Nature Reserve is the most visited nature reserve in Sweden with more than half a million visitors each year. With that kind of exposure and several commercial companies engaging in activities such as scuba diving, rock climbing and mountain biking, there is a lot of work needed to maintain Kullaberg a sustainable tourism destination.
- Describe us what you and your fellow Junior Rangers are doing/will do to learn more and protect your natural treasure. Do you even teach others?
The area that is of most interest to the Kullaberg Junior Ranger Group is the marine nature reserve and in particular the pollution and amount of plastic waste in the sea. One Kullaberg Junior Ranger says:
Kullaberg is fairly well-protected on land but the marine nature reserve is more vulnerable. All kind of plastic waste floats in and we can make difference by helping to clear the coastline from it!
The group also helps with other things; like monitoring invasive species and supporting the population of the red-listed eel by releasing glass eel in the marine nature reserve. Besides the Kullaberg Junior Ranger Group has been working to provide a new secure fire-place and wood for burning in an area where there previously had been several illegal fireplaces made.
- What do you find tricky being a Junior Ranger – and what is the best thing about it?
The Kullaberg Junior Ranger group is enthusiastic about the Junior Ranger programme in general, especially about the opportunity to meet new friends in the international junior ranger community. They think it is essential, however, to get more people to know about the programme.
We ought to tell more young people about it. Maybe we could have presentations in the schools.
The Kullaberg Junior Ranger programme is administered by the local scout group, Jonstorp Kustscoutkår.
Also, make sure you watch their new video; taking you on a tour of their summer 2018 – full of Junior Ranger action…including EUROPARC International Junior Ranger Camp in Müritz National Park!