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The gymkhana of threats
23 April 2012

During this scholar year hundreds of children from Guadiana Valley and Caldeirão Mountain got to know LIFE Habitat Lince Abutre through the Iberian lynx Manchas and the black vulture Bui.

Manchas and Bui have a certain talent to get into trouble… typical of youngsters! After the floor game “The adventures of Manchas and Bui” they now come back with the “Gymkhana of threats”. And they indeed have a lot of threats out there… without help it will be very difficult for these two friends to overcome all obstacles encountered along the way.

It was precisely at the project’s intervention area, where these species can occur, that we found the right people for this task! Hundreds of children from the first to fifth grade, from schools all over the region, have been giving their best to help Manchas and Bui overcome several threats hidden at school’s playground, until finally leading them safely to their shelters. Before arriving at his den, Manchas has to cross a non-signaled road, find out how to go through a huge dam on an area where used to be a beautiful forest, avoid illegal traps hidden in the vegetation and, finally, find a good tree to use as a den. As for Bui, before finding a good tree to build his nest, he needs to avoid wind farms and power lines, that our friends will have to identify so that no bird collides on them, and discover the person responsible for placing poisoned baits on the carcasses Bui and his family feed on.
It’s many threats to only two species, and all of them caused by humans…

It is very important that children from the region apprehend the value of the natural heritage their villages carry. Species with a unique value, critically endangered mostly due to a continued bad management of the territory and its resources.
Children of today, tomorrow grownups… the future of the Iberian lynx and black vulture in Portugal is in these boys and girls’ hands. A future we all hope to be as smiling as these children’s faces during these scholar adventures of Manchas and Bui!

'Lynxes' of Querença heading towards the next stage of the Gymkhana of Manchas

Gymkhana of Manchas - 'Lynxes' of Benafim signaling a road with the sign - danger of lynxes crossing the roadway

The team 'Vultures' taking wind farms out of Bui's forest and translocating them to areas less adequate for this and other birds of prey

The teams 'Vultures' and 'Lynxes' of Querença sharing their experiences at the end of the Gymkhana of threats