Volunteer for nature 2024

Youth volunteers from various European countries chose to contribute to nature conservation efforts in Croatia!

  • 29.02.2024.

We are happy to introduce our volunteers of the European Solidarity Corps who arrived from different parts of Europe: Linde from the Netherlands, Paula from Spain, Zülfü from Azerbaijan and Mélanie from France. Despite their different paths, they share a common passion for nature and love for birds. For the next ten months, through the Volunteer for Nature 2024 project, they will be part of our team, ready to research, learn and spread awareness about the importance of nature conservation. Everyone will contribute in their own way, and you will certainly get to know them through some activities and events.

Linde, Paula, Zülfü and Mélanie found their counterpart in the bird world; a bird with features and even habits similar to them. Here’s how they introduced themselves:

Linde Lokin: “Just like me, spoonbills are social and hang out with other birds”

Bok! My name is Linde and I am from the Netherlands. When they asked me to pick a bird I thought of the Eurasian spoonbill. Something I really like about spoonbills is that, to the untrained eye, they might look like egrets or even swans from a distance, but when you learn more about them, you can start to recognise them everywhere.

By working at Biom I am hoping to learn more about birds so I can open my eyes to all the fun different species there are.

Just like me, spoonbills are social animals, and often brood in communal places with herons, cormorants, and geese. Spoonbills migrate to the south in the winter, and although I don’t migrate every season, I do love to travel. Living in Croatia has so far been great, and I am looking forward to seeing more of the country.

The spoonbills are also a major conservation success story in the Netherlands. Although they were almost extinct in my country, persistent conservation efforts increased their numbers significantly, and currently there are over 3500 pairs of them brooding in the Netherlands. This reminds me that conservation can and does work, and I am excited to be a part of this conservation through Biom!

Paula Rúa: “Like the European Robin finds melodies in every corner, I find creative solutions to every problem.”

Hello! My name is Paula and I would like you to imagine the European Robin, also known as Erithacus rubecula, a bird as active and curious as myself. Much like this bold little bird, I am enthusiastic, proactive and reliable. Always seeking to overcome challenges! I love thinking in different ways to fix things with my hands in a different way, and even though I can be a bit clumsy at times, I am as creative as the robin is melodious!

My love for nature has always been a constant in my life, connecting with the spirit of the robin. From mountains to ocean waves, I find magic in every corner of the great outdoors. My initially introverted nature bursts into color once I get to know people, just like the robin when it sings its beautiful melody.

Joining Biom is like immersing myself in the natural environment of the robin, a perfect opportunity to contribute, learn, and adapt to new challenges that I am passionate about and that allow me to enjoy something that matters to me.

Zülfü Farajli: “Its Latin name ‘Falco peregrinus’ meaning ‘wanderer,’ echoing my journey in Croatia, far from home”

Hello, I’m Zülfü Farajli, originally from Azerbaijan, and I find a connection with the magnificent Peregrine Falcon. It’s not just because I admire these birds; it’s also because their Latin name, Falco peregrinus, means “wanderer,” which resonates with me as I’m wandering in Croatia, far from my homeland.

The Peregrine Falcon’s ability to adapt and solve problems is something I admire and strive for myself, especially as I navigate through unfamiliar cultures. Just as they thrive in various environments, including our urban environment, I aim to adapt and thrive in new cultural settings, drawing inspiration from their resilience. Also, there’s the matter of speed and precision.

The Peregrine Falcon is known for being the fastest bird on Earth, while I work diligently to meet deadlines with the same determination as a peregrine chasing feral pigeons. Also we both value our personal space and can be quite protective of it, if you know how defensive peregrines get, but hey I’m still open to meeting new people and experiencing different aspects of Croatian and other cultures, just like the Peregrine Falcon adapts to different environments.

In essence, my connection with the Peregrine Falcon goes beyond admiration; it reflects a shared spirit of resilience, adaptability, and the pursuit of excellence, despite being far from our native lands.

Mélanie Monjanel: “Like the arctic tern that migrates south, I always return to Croatia”

My name is Mélanie and I would describe myself as an artic tern, as well called the “sea swallow”. Like me, Artic tern are passionate travelers, every year they migrate from pole to pole. During the cold arctic winter, the arctic tern flies south, following the summer season all the way to the Antarctic Circle. They are thought to have the longest yearly migration of any animal.

They are social birds, foraging in groups and nesting in colonies. These small, slender gray and white bird with a black crown are as well big romantics, they mate for life, keeping the same partners. Being now part of Biom, I hope to learn about all the secret of bird’s life and share them with as many birds passionate as possible!

These hard-working young people will contribute to nature conservation in Croatia on the Volunteer for Nature 2024 project until December.

The European Solidarity Corps provides an opportunity for young people to contribute to society, volunteer and work for the common good. During ten months, our volunteers will build solidarity towards nature by participating in the research of animal and plant species and by encouraging the local community to get involved in the educational and volunteer activities that they will prepare for them. At the same time, it will bring them many opportunities to gain experience and develop different skills.