#HabitatHeroes Pioneers

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Meet the Lake Pfaeffikon Junior Rangers

©Yannick Bucher

With Lake Pfaeffikon, Junior Rangers can call a very special place their “natural treasure”.

~ Input: Lake Pfaeffikon Junior Ranger Blog.

Tell us all about your “natural treasure”: Which is the species or habitat you Lake Pfeaffikon Junior Rangers learn about and work with in their Protected Area? What is special about it?

Lake Pfaeffikon is the 2nd biggest lake right after Lake Greifensee and besides, it’s also the one holding the clearest water in the whole Swiss “Kanton” (kind of “federal state”) of Zurich. It is one of the most important and one of the largest wetlands and nature reserves of the Swiss plateau (Mittelland). The Lake and moorland in its surroundings provide a valuable habitat for a broad diversity of flora, fauna, insects and birds. That’s why the area counts as a real biodiversity hotspot.

What are Junior Rangers are doing to learn more and protect their natural treasures?

It is very important, that visitors who come to enjoy the area understand how valuable Lake Pfaeffikon is as a habitat. The Junior Rangers decided to help there and took action. This summer they set up an information stall together with two associations for nature protection -“Pfaeffikon” and “Natur liegt nahe” (“Nature is close to us”) – and spent the full day informing interested people about some species living around their lake and about how they can be protected. A group of dedicated Habitat Heroes!

©Yannick Bucher

At the Junior Ranger stall visitors could learn about the grass snake, stork and egret. Of course, the young rangers didn’t just give information in a boring way. They brought a fun quiz game and challenged people with some tricky questions about Lake Pfaeffikon and the Junior Ranger Programme.

Educating visitors is important – and so is hands-on action. Also here Junior Rangers at Lake Pfaeffikon are very engaged: In June they went out for their annual “Lake clean up” to free some parts of the lake from metal litter with self-made angles. And see what incredible “fish” they caught:

©Yannick Bucher

©Yannick Bucher

Lake Pfaeffikon Junior Rangers had a summer with great fun, but also, they had to say goodbye to their long-standing mentor Yannick Bucher. Luckily they could get him to promise a visit…and luckily the group already has found a new mentor: Tobias Klein, welcome! We are already looking forward to the new Habitat Hero actions from Lake Pfaeffikon Junior Rangers in 2019!

Lake Pfaeffikon Junior Ranger programme is part of the Swiss “Greifensee Stiftung”. Learn more about the Lake Pfaeffikon Habitat Heroes  on their (German) blog and follow them on Facebook


How to learn more and keep track of #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: f.minozzi_at_europarc.org