Migratory birds have been handed a welcome boost by fundraising efforts from Birdfair 2015 after a cheque of £320,000 was handed over to BirdLife International to help vulnerable migratory birds in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The money raised from the Birdfair, which was held on the shores of Rutland Water over three days in August, will go towards a project aimed at reducing the scale and impact of illegal killing of migratory birds, and to improve protection and laws throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.
It is used by hundreds of millions of migratory birds twice yearly but a recent BirdLife International report revealed that 25 million migratory birds are illegally killed each year.
Birdfair co-organiser, Tim Appleton said: “I’m delighted that Birdfair 2015 has smashed the previous year’s fundraising record of £280,000. A lot of hard work from organisers, volunteers, sponsors and attendees goes into this event, and we are proud to raise an enormous amount of money to support BirdLife Internationals work in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Birdfair will continue to support many more important conservation projects in the future and we’re delighted that in 2016 we will be raising funds to help save Important Bird Areas in Africa.”
Over the next three years, Birdfair will support BirdLife International’s project focusing on the world’s most endangered Important Bird Areas. More than 12,000 of these areas have been identified to date and collectively they represent the largest global network of important sites for wildlife.
BirdLife International’s chief executive, Patricia Zurita, said: “The success of the Birdfair shows that people really care about nature at home and abroad.”
And Tim Stowe, RSPB International director, added: “We have seen positive steps taken recently to address illegal killing of migratory birds, in places such as the Dhekelia British Sovereign Base Area, Cyprus. “Now we need to put pressure on the rest of the region to follow this example.”
This year’s Birdfair will take place between August 19 and 21.