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RSPB Dolphinwatch asks people to Defend Nature

Last modified: 18 June 2015

Bottlenose dolphin

Image: Steve Round

Visitors to Aberdeen’s popular Dolphinwatch are being asked to help nature this weekend. As well as a beach clean from 11 am – 1 pm on Sunday, throughout the weekend visitors will be asked to draw and write what they love about dolphins on a large wooden dolphin and join the campaign to defend nature.

The #DefendNature campaign needs as many people as possible to show their support for the laws that protect the most threatened and important wildlife species and habitats in the UK and Europe. This EU legislation, known as the Birds and Habitats Directives, is under review and at risk of being weakened. For over 30 years these laws have protected some of our best-loved and most iconic landscapes from the Scottish Flow Country peatlands to the Caledonian pine forests of the Cairngorms, and they are essential to the protection of species large and small, from basking sharks and bottlenose dolphins to capercaillie and corncrakes. 

Paul Kendall is one of RSPB Scotland’s Dolphinwatch people engagement officers. He said: “Bottlenose dolphins are protected by EU legislation and we’re lucky that the East of Scotland population – which the ones we see in Aberdeen are part of – are protected by a Special Area of Conservation in the Moray Firth. We’re asking everyone who comes to the project this weekend to help protect the laws that protect these magnificent sea mammals by signing up to #DefendNature and spreading the word on social media. Only by working together can we make sure that the laws that look after dolphins and other wildlife that we love and that make Scotland a destination for wildlife tourists are protected”. 

Last month, the ‘Joint Links group’, representing 100 voluntary organisations across the UK,  published a position statement warning that the European Commission’s REFIT ‘Fitness Check’ of the Birds and Habitats Directives is the single biggest threat to UK and European nature and biodiversity in a generation.

The Joint Links group’s response set out evidence that demonstrates why the Directives are effective at protecting nature while providing huge benefits for people and a stable framework for responsible businesses. The public consultation on the Directives ends on 24 July, for more information visit rspb.org.uk/defendnature. For more information about the Defend Nature with Dolphinwatch event visit www.facebook.com/RSPBNorthEastScotland.

RSPB Scotland’s Dolphinwatch team is on hand at Torry Battery from 11am-6pm on Thursday to Sunday every week, from now until 16 August. They have binoculars and telescopes provided by Viking Optical, and plenty of expertise to help visitors get the best experience possible.

RSPB Dolphinwatch started in 2013 and has gone from strength to strength thanks to a partnership between RSPB Scotland, Visit Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Harbour Board, Scottish Natural Heritage and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).

How you can help

European leaders want to weaken the laws that protect our wildlife. We urgently need you to add your voice to thousands of others and defend nature.

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