Professors Clive Finlayson of the National Museum, and John Cortes. / SUR

Europe-Africa Bird Migration Observatory Network to be set up in Gibraltar

The new observatories will be on various sites and will focus on interpretation and education, monitoring and research and conservation, rescue and rehabilitation

Debbie Bartlett

As all keen ornithologists will know, Gibraltar is an important point on the Europe-Africa migratory routes and it was announced on Thursday, the 50th anniversary of a landmark study on Palaearctic-African bird migration by the late Reginald Moreau of Oxford University, that the Rock is now to have its own Migration Observatory Network. This will focus on three common themes: namely interpretation and education, monitoring and research and conservation, rescue and rehabilitation.

The observatories will be on sites owned or managed by different bodies, namely the government, the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS), Gibraltar National Museum and Gibraltar Botanic Gardens.

The locations for the network are: Harding's Observation Post (Europa Point); Marine Interpretation Centre (Europa Point), Europa Foreshore; Gorham's Cave Complex including Europa Advance Battery Viewing Platform; Jacob's Ladder; Jews' Gate Field Centre; Parson's Lodge; Windmill Hill Raptor Rehabilitation Centre; Tovey Cottage and the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens.

Professor John Cortes, the Minister for the Environment and a keen ornithologist himself, said he was very excited by the initiative. "Moreau's seminal work is at the heart of my passion for birds and the study of bird migration and I am delighted to be able to take this step and contribute to the history and development of the study of these vulnerable creatures," he said