Bok or Olá!
My name is Carolina, I am from Portugal and I am a European Solidarity Corps volunteer working on the “Island Birds” project, with
I have a Masters in Conservation Biology from the University of Lisbon, and one of my main interests is ecology. In particular I like to study networks, which means understanding the interactions between species in an ecosystem, and studying various species simultaneously. I chose to apply to the project to learn more about bird ecology and be involved with various projects that have an active role in conservation and nature protection.
After spending five months on Lastovo, me and the other three ESC volunteers left the seabirds and came to Beli, on the island of Cres, to work at the Beli Visitor Centre and in the Rescue Centre for Griffon Vultures.
Beli is a small village in the north of the island, in the middle of nowhere, but that is the beauty of it! We have the beach and nature to explore, and a colony of griffons that make their nests just a few meters above the sea.
Here, most of the time, we are helping in the museum, which is an opportunity to improve our science communication skills. But there are also chances to do other activities, like going to the feeding station or checking the GPS data of the griffon vultures who were released this year, which is very rewarding as it shows how far they go after they recover at the centre.
On Cres, the weeks aren’t always the same – we have already gone to the field to search for a GPS logger that fell from a griffon vulture, and we have had to take care of unexpected birds including a baby common kestrel and a swallow. But the most exciting part is monitoring the griffon vulture colony and helping with rescue operations.
Being at the Rescue Centre is teaching me that even when we do our best, it is not always enough to save the animals. But at the same time, it is because of this that it is so important to continue, and explain to the visitors the value of biodiversity and what we can do to protect nature.
/ Carolina is a participant of the Island Birds project implemented by the Association BIOM as part of the European Solidarity Corps program. /