Spring Alive Update
Spring Alive is a global project aimed at stimulating interest in birds and conservation for pupils and adults by participating in a mass website activity of sighting and posting sightings of five migratory bird species namely; Common swift, common cuckoo, Barn swallow, White stork and the Eurasian bee-eater.
Pupils across European, Asian and African countries alike participate in the sighting of these five migratory bird species each year. Although spring alive targets the participation of pupils, this does not restrict the event to pupils alone but rather encompasses all bird enthusiasts and conservationists to participate in the project and encourage the boys and girls to actively get involved. The Spring Alive project begun in 2006, Zambia has joined other countries with selected IBA schools participating in the project and being coordinated by BirdWatch Zambia.
Therefore, to introduce the project to pupils, Spring Alive project was advertised largely through the School’s Environmental Education Newsletters (issues 1&2), sending Photo fliers of the Spring Messengers, throughout the 50 Selected IBA schools and Trained Community bird guides in the IBA network. The project has received massive advertised on BirdWatch Zambia Facebook page, other activities it has done include:
- Vulture Awareness under the Vulture Safe Zones funded by Birdlife International through the Africa Vulture Appeal Funds, a follow up on a White Stork fitted with a Satellite Tracker which is suspected to have been killed in Nakonde District in Muchinga Province here in Zambia.
- Spring Alive Spring Twins Programme is a component of the Spring Alive Project aimed primarily at twinning schools between continents, however, it is possible for schools to have more than one twin and also for schools to be twinned with other schools from the same continent, the objectives of Spring Twins Programme are; to connect schools in Europe and Africa with a focus on the conservation and observation of migrant birds through Spring Alive, to improve understanding of nature and environmental issues in Europe and Africa with a specific focus on migrant birds, to involve young people in taking positive action for birds and nature, to provide inspiring educational opportunities for young people to learn about the environment in another continent. In Zambia, three (3) schools have been selected to participate in this program; these are Kayowelo Primary School of Chimfunshi IBA in Chingola and Chisamba. This was a brilliant idea that however did not work out due to communication challenges between patrons of the different schools. This training exercise was however tried with the local schools, that is: Pinewood preparatory school and Martin House. As BirdWatch Zambia, we hope and plan to revamp this Spring Alive Twinning exercise locally.
- In the past 5 years, Spring Alive has celebrated World Bird Migration Day in the second week of May and October respectively. It incorporated a lot of activities such as bird walks, educational talks and many other fun out door conservational activities that engaged pupils and teachers of different participatory schools especially schools that are found in the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) like in Chisamba. This has been a very successful event for BirdWatch Zambia as these activities have been consistent every year.