Since the 2000’s, more than 300 European zoos have been participating in breeding programs for endangered species in order to prevent their extinction. The idea is to recreate a wild population from captive individuals. In parallel to these actions, the park Les Aigles du Léman has decided to invest in the research of raptors. We have chosen to study the behaviour of these birds in captivity in order to improve their longevity, their reproduction and their diet into the wild. Our aviaries allow biologists to deepen their knowledge of the morphology, habits and physiology of raptors in general.
FREEDOM is a conservation movement that seeks to protect threatened birds of prey through creative conservation methods. By creating this unique and compelling content, FREEDOM seeks to engage a new generation of conservationists, catalysing popular support for the protection of nature worldwide.
FREEDOM comes from a gamble of Jacques-Olivier Travers in 2006 where he paraglide with adult eagles to raise public awareness about the precarious situation that these birds face in our world. This mad idea turned out to be an extraordinary way of learning about birds in flight. Today, Jacques-Olivier teaches birds of prey born in captivity, to hunt and fly by skiing, kayaking and paragliding with them. To complete this idea, the breeding centre of The Aigles du Léman was born to promote the reproduction of endangered species of eagles and vultures.
FREEDOM is delivering its message by capturing never-before-seen footage, taken from the backs of eagle’s flying from iconic cities. Flights took place from the Eiffel Tower in Paris (video), the Tower Bridge in London and the Vallée Blanche in Chamonix (video) amongst others.
We broke the world record by releasing an eagle from the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa ( Dubaï), which was broadcasted live for 6 min on BBC World. These flights have amassed tens of millions of online views, as well as receiving international print and broadcast coverage.
For more information : www.freedom-lefilm.com
As a partnership, FREEDOM is a pioneering movement for the conservation community. It not only seeks to raise public awareness of threatened birds of prey, but it also serves as ambassador role for all species. Its highlights ways for people and organizations to become involved in supporting effective frontline nature conservation programs.
Convinced by his commitment, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) chose FREEDOM as the ambassador program of the conservation initiative, SOS–Save Our Species. SOS identifies and selects impactful conservation projects protecting threatened species. Following this partnership, IUCN provided us with the opportunity to film one of our eagles flying in the sky of London to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the IUCN red list threatened species. ‘The red list’ program is one of the most objective global approaches for evaluating the conservation status of living species.
Moreover, several European universities chose to work with our birds for ecological research as climate change ( University of Birmingham) or ethology (University of Neuchatel).
Terre des Aigles
Terre des Aigles,
The first free flight aviary
“Terre des Aigles” project has reconstructed a habitat in a large aviary of 18000 square meters by 10 meters high where more than 60 raptors belonging to 13 different species coexist without any barrier. For the first time, raptors are able to fly almost freely and learn how to use the wind to move around. They also have to interact with each other to find a breeding partner or to feed. This real-size experience is the ideal place to study relationships between individuals (of the same species and between different species)as well as their diets. Following the opening of “Terre des Aigles”, relationships with French universities have been established through student interships.
But that’s not all, not only are the raptors will be able to interact with each other but we also suggest you take the opportunity to come and visit their environment… Enter to “TERRE DES AIGLES” !
Help threatened species to reproduce…
While the largest birds of prey are the most powerful predators in the sky, they are powerless against urbanisation. A living emblem, they are part of the most endangered species worldwide. Realizing the urgency of preserving large raptors, Les Aigles du Léman is leading an initiative to preserve the remaining nature and to help new generations of eagles bred in captivity to find their way back to the wild.
Les Aigles du Léman possesses Europe’s largest aviary where eagles can learn how to fish from within a space of 4,200 m2 with a fishing pool of 150 m2. All of our aviaries, even the reproductive ones, are made only with netting. In comparaison to other breeding centres and thanks to this equipment, the public can clearly observe these reproductive birds.
Its uses states-of-the-art techniques including camera tracking for nest building and semi-artificial rearing, providing us with a full record of reproduction in the center, from the formation of the pairs to the fledging of the young and adult age.
Today, the public’s awareness and support are critically important to conserve species. Les Aigles du Léman is a park without any external financial support and we therefore rely on the public to help save the raptors. In contrast to most breeding programs that exclude the general public, the park is open to the general public and school whose children can enjoy special days with guided tours and talks from our knowledgeable project staff. Moreover, in order to explain our program to people, we are planning to offer guided tours of the aviaries throughout the year. Les Aigles du léman’s breeding centre proves that bird conservation is not incompatible with public bird shows.