Running from Extinction 2021
This last year it has become more evident than ever how important our natural world & wildlife is. Many have been able to rediscover & reconnect with the natural world. However, despite our enjoyment of the outdoors, many species worldwide are facing unprecedented threats. Threats that could see countless species go extinct in less than 100 years. So to raise awareness, we want to join forces & help animals Run from Extinction & push those timelines back as far as possible as a community.
Despite the events of 2020, we in the UK had the wildlife sighting potentially of a lifetime, for the second time on record a bearded vulture graced our shores & summered here before heading back home in the autumn. Vigo’s journey was one that captured many people in the UK, even those who were not perhaps aware of vultures. He became an important conservation ambassador for his species & for vultures in general with national news & social media following his every move carefully. Vigo practically flew past our doorstep here at the Raptor Foundation, appearing only 20 mins from our site & one of our keepers was lucky enough to go & spot him in person. Vigo left our country in October & made an astonishing journey back home to the Alps. In that time Vigo has now been identified as ‘Flysch’ a bird hatched in 2019, her father a wild hatched bird & her mother a captive bred bird, reintroduced into the Alps in 2006 due to the brilliant work the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) & partners have been carrying out.
So to Run from Extinction this year we wanted to follow Flysch’s example & go on a journey. However, due to COVID, crossing the channel etc is not feasible so we will do it virtually instead. We want to run & cycle the journey Flysch took from the Haute-Savoie region of the Alps to the place where she was first sighted in the UK last June, Kenilworth. This will be a journey of 750 miles that we will undertake across 8 days. During these days we will be fundraising not only for our centre, but 20% of all money raised will be donated to the International Vulture Programme, a conservation effort we are a part of to help vultures worldwide. We will be discussing vultures, birds of prey & raptors both in a general sense & related to our residents at the centre. We will also be holding virtual learning sessions for any child, young adult or adults who wishes to view it & we are also hoping to carry out short virtual interviews with keepers/personal from other zoological collections/conservation organisations so they can discuss their own conservation efforts & help spread awareness for other species & collections.
The event will have sections that are streamed online across the 8 days & there will even be the chance to add punishments or rewards for those who are running/ cycling at the time as well as a fun & educational atmosphere.
We may be a large rescue centre for Raptors here in the UK, but on the scale we are only a small zoological collection, but we want to leave a big impact and help the world run from extinction!