As a professional bird watching guide and lover of the natural World, I am a member of the SEO (Sociedad Española de Ornitología). Essentially this is Spain´s equivalent and indeed partner of the UK´s RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).
During my travels as a guide, I see at first hand the extremely valueable work that the SEO undertakes and greatly admire their dedication to the protection of birds and conservation of their habitats. Unlike in the UK, the culture of bird watching and conservation in Spain is still in its infancy, although this is gradually changing as people are becoming increasingly aware of this country´s diverse birdlife and the need to protect and cherish it.
The aim of this article is to generally raise awareness of the SEO and its work and activities in our area. The local Valencian branch of the SEO are very keen to reach out to the non-Spanish population that live in our region and to attract new members. This is not simply a plea for donations or membership fees…in addition to the conservation projects that are constantly ongoing, the SEO also arranges frequent activities including day trips, short breaks and bird courses, all of which are available to members.
Please take a little time to read this article and to consider adding your voice and support to the hugely important aim of protecting and nurturing the birdlife of the country that we have made our home. Many thanks for your time.
Posted by David Warrington.
Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.
What is SEO/BirdLife?
SEO/BirdLife is an organisation that works towards the conservation of birds and their habitat. We are now over 12,000 strong and are supported by 4000 volunteer workers and over 40 local groups; we have also set up 10 regional offices in different parts of Spain. We are Spain’s longest-standing conservation NGO with a proven track record of defending and studying birds and their habitat, and this year we celebrate 60 years since our foundation in 1954.
Like the RSPB in the UK, in Spain we are the recognised representatives of BirdLife International, a global alliance of like-minded organisations working towards biodiversity conservation. The global BirdLife partnership now boasts over 13 million members and followers and is working in 111 countries from all five continents.
SEO/BirdLife’s work is based on three mainstays:
* Public awareness.
Before we can conserve anything we need first to find out what’s there, i.e., to carry out research. We also need the support of public at large, so it is crucial to raise awareness and bring our findings to wider notice.
SEO/BirdLife strives to fend off the threats that now face Spain’s precious species and habitats, doing so by conducting specific campaigns to raise awareness and convince public authorities, private businesses or responsible individuals to take action.
Another of our ongoing concerns is to ensure that plans, programmes and policies which have environmental impacts are made compatible with conservation
To ensure the conservation of birds and their habitat SEO/BirdLife systematically reports illegal activities to Spanish courts of law or even straight to the European Commission, especially such offences as illegal use of poison, poaching or constructions that harm biodiversity.
SEO/BirdLife runs over 25,000 hectares of reserves, either as outright site-owner or under management agreements with councils and private owners. It also devotes part of its efforts to international cooperation and conservation programmes in Morocco and Latin America.
SEO/BirdLife’s work is crucial in the designation of many Special Protection Areas (SPAs) in Spain and is responsible for the identification, listing and monitoring of Important Bird Areas (IBAs).
We at SEO/BirdLife believe that today’s education is tomorrow’s conservation and through our volunteer, adult education and children’s club activities, over 150,000 people took part in our conservation, citizen science, education and communication campaigns, with nearly 50,000 followers of our Twitter and Facebook accounts and over half a million hits a year on our website www.seo.org (which can be roughly translated to English by choosing ‘inglés’ from the ‘Google translate’ option at the top right-hand side of each webpage).
Your support is vital
Join SEO/BirdLife and add your own voice to millions of people around the world in the BirdLife partnership who, like you, support our work in favour of conservation and a sustainable world.
At SEO/BirdLife we firmly believe that the best way of helping birds is to improve the health of our planet, making the world a better place to live in. This is why we get involved in so many campaigns of such varied types: site conservation, threatened species, farming policies, water management and climate change. A better world for birds is a better world for people and the rest of the planet’s living beings. Help us to achieve it!Join up today and help us conserve our natural heritage.
You will receive the following welcome pack:
The interactive CD Descubre las aves por sus cantos (Learn birdsong), including recordings of over 123 species and virtual routes for fun-based learning of their songs.
Guía de las Aves Comunes de España (Fieldguide to the Common Birds of Spain). A feet finder in the thrilling world of birds.
One year’s free subscription to the quarterly members’ journal Aves y Naturaleza (Birds and Nature) with all the breaking bird and conservation news.
Special subscription price for Ardeola, SEO/BirdLife’s internationally renowned scientific journal.
Subscription to our Boletín Digital (Online news) where you can find out all the latest about our activities, calls and invitations, courses or volunteer worker programmes.
The SEO/BirdLife Membership Card, entitling you to special discounts on purchases from our catalogues (books, binoculars, field trips…)
But, above all, the satisfaction of contributing towards the conservation of nature in general and birds in particular.
Contact Information :-
This article is part of a new effort by SEO/BirdLife to reach out to English speakers in Spain and offer them an interesting way to get to know the country and its wildlife and wild places. The hope is to grow the membership base as well as attract people prepared to support the organization in other ways, and in this way be able to offer more birdwatching and conservation-related activities and materials, increase support for wildlife conservation in Spain, and thus achieve more success in protecting and enjoying Spain’s amazing birdlife. The campaign is starting amongst the English-speaking community in Valencia Region, with the hope to spread it to other parts of the country. Help us to make it a success!
Please contact Pablo Vera by email at Valencia@SEO.org
Pablo is a fluent English speaker and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Individual (any adult in his or her own right) : 42€ per year or 6€ per month
Double (two people living at the same address) : 58€ per year or 7€ per month
Family (three or more people living at the same address) : 73€ per year or 8€ per month
Pensioner (proof of pensioner status required) : 25€ per year or 4€ per month
Student (person aged 18-25 in further education) : 35€ per year or 5€ per month
Teenager (any individual aged 13-18) : 25€ per year or 4€ per month
Aventureros Club (“Explorers Club” for children aged up to 14) : 15€ per year for one child or 25€ per year for two or more children. This includes a copy of the Encyclopedia of Birds of Spain (booklet & DVD).