The Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) is an international NGO committed to the conservation of the European vulture species: Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus), Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), Cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) and Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus). The VCF has extensive experience in the protection of vultures in their natural habitat.
All European vulture species have a highly vulnerable status, and their distribution ranges have been severely restricted in the last century. Threats such as illegal poisoning, poaching, lack of food availability and collisions at wind farms and powerlines are putting the incipient recovery of some populations at risk.
Vultures require large natural areas of good quality habitat, which is increasingly difficult to find in the humanized European continent. Protecting vultures therefore means protection of the entire European mountain ecosystems. Illegal bird-killing still takes casualties every year, something the VCF is fighting hard together with local partners.
The VCF is working on the ground on the European continent, and the adjacent areas. On a more global scale have been working together with local partners and Birdlife really well, in order to protect vultures all around the World. That’s why we also really support this year’s cause of the Champions of the Flyway: the conservation of our African vultures!
If you share the VCF’s concern to the Vultures please support TeamVCF! A like on the official VCF-page on Facebook is also much appreciated! VCF Facebook page
More information on the Vulture Conservation Foundation is available on: 4vultures.org
Meet the Team:
Team captain for the second time! Really looking forward to be in the event this year again! And this time with a really fitting cause! We joined the COTF in 2017 once before, also as Team VCF. Later that year, I have become a member of the Management Board of the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF), so Team VCF is now even more special to me! Becoming a board member has changed birding for me. I still like to go out and try to find rarities or join a Birdrace, but most of my bird-related time is going into conservation. And it’s necessary…..Fortunately, the vultures are doing quite good in some parts of Europe, but there is still a lot of work to be done! And with my position as a board member, I am trying to help as much as I can. The VCF mainly works in Europe and the adjacent areas, but we support the vulture conservation in Africa and Asia to the best we can!
Even in my day job (working at Boskalis, a major contractor), I am working on conservation of birds with the creation of 1,000 hectares of new breeding islands in Lake Markermeer. This has been a brilliant project, combining work and hobby! Living in the big city of Wijhe (Netherlands), with my wife Ellen and my kids Stijn and Lize.
David Uit de Weerd
I started birdwatching at the age of 12. Pretty soon, I knew all the common birds and got interested in rare birds. When I was 14, I joined Dutch Birding. Between 1992-2003 I almost quit birding as visiting football matches and dancing attracted me more….. But the birds were never out of my mind: in 2003 I started birding again. In 2004/2005 I met my current teammates.
With Lennaert and Hans I did several Big Days in hometown Zwolle and the province of Overijssel. The feeling of doing a Big Day is indescribable. I like to prepare Big Days as a military operation, planning every 5-10 minutes in the 24 hours. Targetting on birds and time schedule is great: using all positive and unique talents of every team member. I visited Israël before in 2009 and 2017 and I always intended going back to this beautiful country. The migration of passerines and raptors, in particular in the southern part of Israel, is magnificent. We will participate for the second time in Champions of the Flyway as our first participation in 2017 felt like a dream. It was fantastic with people from all over the world having one shared goal: protecting our birds.
Besides birdwatching around Zwolle I like making international birding trips. Every autumn you’ll find me, together with my birding friends, a few weekends on the Dutch Wadden island Vlieland (www.deceptiontours.nl), trying to find rare birds. Other interests are running, cycling, reading and cooking. I live together with my wife Nicole, our two beautiful sons Simon (10) and Lucas (7) and Labradoodle-dog Tommy (2). My motto: ‘Live your dreams’.
I have been interested in birds for most of my whole life. In the early days, I wandered with my brother through the woods and riverbanks in my home county. Growing up in the eastern part of the Netherlands made me familiar with most of the breeding birds in the Netherlands. Later on, I expanded my birding trips to all over Europe and the rest of the world. I have traveled to over 45 countries and this will be my fourth time in Israel and my second participation in the race of the Champions of the Flyway!
All my birding observations are online at the sighting portals www.waarneming.nl and www.observation.org. Since the start of both websites I am an admin for bird sightings. In my spare-time I love to visit the Wadden-islands in the north of the Netherlands. Counting waders on the remote island Rottumerplaat or trying to find rarities with friends on the island Vlieland (Deception Tours) are the most wonderfull days of the year. I have been doing Big Days for 15 years now. The passion and the thrill to find as much as possible different birdingspecies in twentyfour hours has always been the highlights of birding. I hope the visit to Israel will be so good as the last three times. Especially the spring migration of the bigger birds (all the raptors and storks) in the Eilat Mountains is something I will never forget. This phenomenon of bird migration will always be special in my birding life. I also hope to make new friends in the birding scene. The COTF is one of the best events birdwatchers can do!