Seven small islands of great beauty and physical diversity are located along the north - western coast of Skantzoura: Kóraka, Prasoù (=Skandíli), Kyriáko, Strongylò, Polemikà, Kas(s)ídis and one more islet (= Lachanoù?).
Facing from the seaside this green archipelago, one can sense its rather undisturbed marine wilderness character: it may happen that you watch a seal passing peacefully on the surface through the cannel between Strongylò and Skantzoura and at the same time you listen to the jelling cries of the Eleonora's falcons above your head and even may spot a flock of bright Audouini's gulls hovering over the current near the neighbouring island of Kyriáko... all at the same time.
On Kyriáko I discovered a breeding colony of some 15 pairs of Audouini's gulls in May 1976.
Again in the deep trench between Polemikà and Kas(s)ídis, the towering cliffs echo the splashing surf and the always loudly chatting falcons in their colony high above in the rocks.
And on Strongylò an amazing symbiosis caught our fascination: The falcons breed late in summer/autumn when many small migratory birds pass the archipelago. It is the dry season when for lizards ( Podarcis erhardii) there is little to hunt and feed upon, except of the flies attracted by the falcons nests, or rather the bird carcasses there. So several lizards assemble at the nests between rocks on the island's eroded surface, clean off the meat remains, flies and ecto - parasites: a very particular relationship of mutual advantage...
Veröffentlicht am 13.08.2010 24.08.2010 Autor Thomas Schultze-Westrum Kategorien Highlights in an Explorer's Life, Northern Sporades
Schlagwörter Audouini's gull, Eleonora's falcon, Northern Sporades conservation, Skantzoura archipelago, symbiosis falcons - lizards
Dr. Thomas Georg Hans SCHULTZE-WESTRUM
Author of Scientific and Popular Publications
Producer and Director of Documentary Films and Videos
Adviser in Nature Conservation and Preservation of Rural Cultures
Initiator of Conservation Programmes
German national. Born 1937 (Berlin).
Classical education at the Benedictine monastery of Ettal in Upper Bavaria.
Graduate of Munich University, with degrees in Zoology, Geology and Cultural Anthropology (Ethnology).
Scholarship by “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes”.
Research (University of Munich, other scientific institutions) and publications on social and population physiology of marsupials and other vertebrate fauna of New Guinea and the Mediterranean Region, cultural anthropology, conservation and resource management on the village level, mainly in Greece and New Guinea.
Author of the books “New Guinea” (Berne 1972) and “Biologie des Friedens” (Biology of Peace), Munich 1974.
Dr. Schultze-Westrum has joined for several years the Commissions on Ecology and Environmental Planning of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
He is the founder of the working group (IUCN Commission on Ecology) “Conservation and Traditional Life Styles” 1979; the “ECOCULTURE” Movement 1981; the “Gesellschaft für die Erhaltung alter und gefährdeter Haustierrassen” GEH (Society for the Preservation of Old and Endangered Breeds of Domestic Animals) 1981; and the non-profit-making society “KALLIERGIA”, for traditional agriculture and village conservation in Greece, 1993.
As a consultant he has worked for the EU, IUCN, OECD and WWF.
As a film maker he has produced, directed and mostly also shot, for German television and international TV networks, 75 documentaries, mainly ecological portraits with emphasis upon the integration of local and traditionally living people into conservation projects. His first film (1974) was about alternative (sustainable) utilization of tropical rainforests in New Guinea, for ZDF.
Never Dr. Schultze-Westrum has entered any of his films into an award winning competition, because he is more concerned about the effects of his TV work in actual conservation and public awareness. One of these real awards was the creation of the Marine National Park Alonnisos Northern Sporades in Greece as a result of his film “The Coast of the Monk Seals” in 1976/77 for ZDF (ratings 36 % - shown in 11 countries). His programme “Green Desert”, about traditional water management in the Sultanate of Oman was distributed by the Television Trust for the Environment TVE to 44, mainly Third World, countries.
Another leading aspect of his film work was the production of environmental films for the people of the country where he was filming. So, he produced the first TV series of films on ecology, rural life styles and conservation for Greece (in the early 80’s, 14 programmes) and for the Sultanate of Oman (late 80’s, 12 films).
His deep interest in ancient human traditions inspired him to produce “Omani Seafaring”, for Oman TV; “Im Kielwasser Sindbads” (In the Wake of Sindbad), for the series Terra X of ZDF; and “Insel der Magier” (Island of the Sorcerers: Waigeo) for ARTE TV.
After retiring from TV film production at the end of 2002 he is returning to his earlier scientific work (abandoned in the early 70’s) about the social and population physiology of marsupials ( Petaurus breviceps papuanus and closely related species); village based conservation; the evolution of human communal behaviour and cultural diversity; and the evolution of art styles in the Papuan Gulf province of New Guinea.
Since 1992 he is also involved in eco- and agrotourism programmes that are based on his earlier promotion of this alternative “soft” tourism through publications and films, in Greece and West Papua.
His conservation activities are continuously focussed on Greece and New Guinea, since 1957 and 1959, respectively.
Dr. Schultze-Westrum now is writing up his experiences of many years field work and he is keeping communications alive through his homepage, from the ancient village of Kazaviti on the island of Thassos in the northern Aegean Sea. The conservation and re-activation of outstanding traditional values of Kazaviti stand at the centre of a local museum and documentation centre to be set up in one or even two old Macedonian stone houses.
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