#15 Life on Land – Snake – friend at home?

Also in Germany there are snakes. In the Nature excursion in the Colbitz-Letzlinger Heide the participating children learned from the expert Horst
Schulze from the Federal Forestry Administration, that in the heathland and at Waldrändern Kreuzottern and Schlingnattern are encountered.

While the Kreuzotter is a poisonous snake up to 90cm long and is considered very shy, the Schlingnatter is a constrictor snake from the grass or ring snake family which are also up to 90cm long. Snakes are reptiles and, as such, hypothermic Animals whose body temperature follows the outside temperature and so depends on the ambient temperature replaced.

While the Schlingnatter is harmless to us humans a bite form the Kreuzotter can be of danger to children and the elderly, but rarely cause death because Kreuzotter do not hold large venom reserves and do not like to use the poison for defense purposes, the doses are low and thereby for adult people rather harmless. Like all animals, snakes also need a lot special, tailored to their needs Habitat. Both snake species occur in the heathland and require sunbeds, with the Schlingnatter preferring rather stony places.

On a scale of critically endangered species the Schlingnatter is rated at level 3, the Kreuzotter at Level 2. By Dismantling of forest edges and heath areas as well as the elimination of dry leave areas the habitats of snakes located here are reduced drastically.

The snake is of great importance in cultural history  too. The split tongue of the snake, by the way an olfactory organ, is considered a picture for dishonesty, when speaking with a forked tongue. Also, the snakiness (slimy, fickle, unprincipled or smooth) is a rather negatively charged trait, what maybe also cause us to fear snakes or find them disgusting. As an inspiration for our snake story the author might have considered also the staff of Asclepius (Aesculapius staff), which until today is representing the medical and pharmaceutical professions as the symbol.

Maybe this fairy tale will help you, to not see snakes as a threat only, but as an important element of our ecosystems of forest and heath. As endangered species they need our protection by preserving their habitats.

The children of the all-day school Johannes Gutenberg from Wolmirstedt, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, produced the fairy tale Schlange Hausfreund, to campaign for more education and environmental awareness and especially for more protection of snakes.

Schlange Hausfreund is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#15 Life on Land – Kalif Storch

The stork is a migratory bird whose span in white or black storks up to 2.20 meters measures. Storks are carnivores and almost on located on all continents. Storks can go up become 35 years old and prefer damp biotopes.

In winter they move to the warm south and then often in Sub-Saharan Africa
encountered. There are in the nature park Drömling in Saxony-Anhalt
more than 40 white stork breeding pairs and even the on the red list of endangered animals Black Stork finds in the “Land of a Thousand Trenches”
his home.

The biggest threats to storks are in Pesticides infested insects by them be eaten and death by accidents Collision with motor vehicles or power lines. Through medium-voltage overhead lines and Railway overhead lines are getting many each year Storks injured or equal to the electric shock
killed.

Also in their winter quarters in Africa threatens death by hyenas and jackals. The White Stork, also known as the Rattling Stork is in many cultures as a lucky charm or bearer of newborns.

 

In our fairy tale Kalif Storch experience the migratory birds an exciting Adventures during their winter quarters that the Children tell us here in Drömling. Help to preserve the habitats for storks and expand, so that more of these wonderful Birds can live with us.

With the natural fairy tale Kalif Storch the children of the 5th grade from the Drömlingschule in Oebisfelde, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, are committed to more environmental awareness and especially to more protection of migratory birds in general and the stork in particular.

Kalif Storch is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#15 Life on Land – The Wolf

The wolf is a predator that is up to 1.60 meters long and can weigh 80 kg.  Wolves live in packs of 5-8 animals, sometimes alone, if you are looking for a new area are. Wolves communicate with one another diverse body language (gestures) and howling. With scents they mark their territory. For a long time, the wolf was considered extinct in Central Europe, after being hunted everywhere, first Line to protect livestock owners.

In 1996, the wolf first return to Germany was sighted. In 2000 there was the first pack throw in Saxony. There is currently a Wolf population of 95 animals in Saxony-Anhalt , like the wolf expert Antje Weber from the Wolf Competence Center in Iden told to the children on the excursion in Colbitz Letzlinger Heide. The Children actually succeeded in finding their own wolf tracks:  Eagle eyes! They could then witness how the sample was secured scientifically and the location was measured and photographed. As a finder  the participating Nawa & Bubo class from Angern was added. A great honor!

Wolves are at the top of the food chain in the ecosystems inhabited by them in Germany. As adaptable animals they are completely fine with the cultural landscapes in Germany and cope well to control the deer population. In order to make an important, natural contribution to healthy forestry, especially since Deer like to nibble young trees and thereby present a threat to the forest stock, if the wolf population is strong. For livestock owners the wolf on the other hand is a threat. The state of Sachsen-Anhalt provides compensation laws and herd protection programs. The Wolf is under strict nature conservation, however still often will be illegally hunted.

It is time for us to get to know wolves better and understand how to deal with them, because Often the fear of the bad wolf is unfounded. Nevertheless, a wolf can also be a human become dangerous if he is a young, individual Stray and inexperienced or as a zooproject breaker was used to people. By loud Noises, we can do it if we are a wolf to keep him from getting further away from us to approach. The wolf is a good example of nature and environmental protection in Germany.

If the “wild” wolf is able to live with us, that also means that we make a good contribution to active conservation, which guarantee habitats for wolves. With the help of the fire bird we got to know the character of the wolf. We invite you to do the same and help us protect the Wolf so this exciting animal has a future opportunity living with us!

With the nature fairy tale Ivan Zarevich, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf, the fourth grade children of the Freie Umweltschule in Angern, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, advocate for more environmental awareness and, in particular, a differentiated view of the wolf and its significance for the Ecosystem forest.

Iwan Zarewitsch, der Feuervogel und der Graue Wolf is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#14 Life under Water – The Queen of the Elbe River and The Meadowy Countrysides

The biosphere reserve Middle Elbe is home to the Elbe people and namesake of our project Nawa & Bubo in Mittelelbien. The important floodplain areas along the river Elbe form a unique eco-system and at the same time, as natural abundance areas, they also ensure the safety of the people living along the Elbe. This ecological flood protection is also an acknowledgment of the need to grant the Elbe its natural, expanded habitat that rivers should enjoy due to their meandering activity.

Alluvial forests are therefore characterized by the flow characteristics of the rivers. Tree species such as the ash, black elm, black and silver stalk poplar or the pedunculate oak map the floodplain forests on domestic rivers such as the Elbe.

But the wetlands along with the floodplains also create habitats for rare, endangered species such as the beaver or the otter. The abundant areas make up the nutrient-rich floodplain soils. The growing meadow vegetation forms the basis for many animal species and ensures biodiversity along the rivers. Brood-birds such as the nightingale find suitable nesting sites and sufficient food, species-rich insects such as butterflies and wild bees find their nectar in blooming wild plants.

Many frogs also find ideal living conditions and with them also the storks and sea eagles. The natural appearance of alluvial forests is also the inspiration for many stories, legends and fairy tales. The water mermaids of the Elbe queen can freely unfold in this human-untouched habitat. But when man discovers and sells them, the floodplains are threatened in their existence.

With the natural fairy tale Die Elbekönigin, the children of the 6th grade from the Hegel Gymnasium Magdeburg, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, are campaigning for more environmental awareness and, in particular, to the protection of the Elbe ecosystem and the endangered species such as the beaver or the Otter. For more information on the environmental program Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority click here.

#15 Life on Land – The Three Butterflies

The butterfly forms the species-rich insect with more than 160,000 different specimens. More than 700 different butterfly species live alone in the Elbe-Saxony region in the meadowland countryside. Only since the mid-18th century  this insect carries the name Schmetterling  in Germany (from Schmetten, Schmand, which some species eat). They are also known as moth. The butterflies are the colorful butterflies we know with large wings compared to their rather thin physique. Just like the bees, the butterflies have compound eyes. Concise are the long feelers. Not only bees but also butterflies pollinate the flowers of wild and cultivated plants and thus secure whole ecosystems.

Especially for agriculture they have an important role to play. Butterflies and insects are at particular risk from pesticides used in agriculture and forestry. Unfortunately, the poison kills the beneficial insects in addition to the pest.

Even the smaller habitats for wild plants pose a threat to many species of butterflies. Butterflies have a different life expectancy. While in some species the caterpillar stage can last for several years, others live only a few weeks. Some species, such as the peacock’s eye, can hibernate in sheltered places while, for example, the admiral flies over the winter even to southern Europe. The metamorphosis, the transformation from an egg to a caterpillar and finally into a colorful butterfly was already in ancient times a symbol of resurrection and rebirth. For us, this process is always a fascinating example of life. Who would not like to have a butterfly as a friend?

Help secure important diverse habitats for butterflies for biodiversity

With the natural fairy tale The Three Butterflies, the children of the 4th grade of the elementary school Comenius from Tangermünde, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, campaign for more environmental awareness and especially for the protection of insects and butterflies.

The Three Butterflies is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#15 Life on Land – Holy Horses – Das Heilige Pferd und das Mädchen

 

Mittelelbien is inhabited by many horses. The school kids from “Grundschule Gebrüder Alstein” in Haldensleben even discovered a holy horse in Altenhausen, a neighbouring village…

This horse could speak and tell the children about being lonely because it was kept as a holy horse in a golden temple without her friends. When the girl realised the horse had feelings too, just like her, she eventually opened the gate so the horse could be free again after many years.

While the girl took the animals place to become “the holy girl”, the horse could finally enjoy freedom again.

Sustainable Development on our planet includes the protection of endangered species at land and below water.

But does it also care about all the other animals?

To raise awareness for the importance of animal rights and well being, the kids from the Grundschule Gebrüder Alstein produced a new version of the Chinese fairytale “Das Heilige Pferd” as a photo story and as an audioplay to underscore the mindfulness needed for other species like horses and their well being. Let us share the wisdom of the “holy girl” for our Planet and for ourselves.

“Animal rights should have more weight within the discussion of sustainable development!”

Das Heilige Pferd und das Mädchen is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#6 Clean water – Wasser wertvoller als Gold

At the Natura2000 location “Haus der Flüsse” (House of rivers) in Havelberg (Sachsen-Anhalt / Germany) schoolkids of the “Brüder Grimm” school in Calvörde participated in Explority’s SDG and environmental project Nawa & Bubo in Mittelelbien and learned about the importance of clean water both as  eco system and living environment as well as elixir of life on planet Earth.

Especially  the meadowy countrysides display a beautiful eco system for rare and endangered species like Otter ad the Beaver.  With the return of the salmon to the Elbe river, new positive results of a better water quality are shown.

Clean water is important for the health of humans, animals and plants

Clean Water is important for biodiversity and life below water

 

“Clean Water is a human right, it is a children right!”

To raise awareness for the importance of clean water, the kids from the Brother Grimm school produced a new version of the Bohemian fairytale “Salz, wertvoller als Gold”  as a photo story and audioplay to underscore the meaning of clean water for our Planet and for ourselves.  Let us stop producing waste which contaminates rivers and oceans and stop using dangerous pesticides, which pollute our ground water.

If you would like to get to know more about our environmental project Nawa & Bubo please follow the link here

#15 Life on Land – The Queen Bee

The meadow orchard with apple, pear and plum trees at the castle of Hundisburg is being powdered by the castle bees. But also the wasps find enough food here..

Unlike the bees, who build a kingdom and have a queen, most of the wild bee species live as individuals. The females build nests and take care of the nest boxes without help of others of their own kind. Only bumblebees and a few selected wild bees carry a social life similar to the honey bee.

Wild bees secure their nutrition exclusively by nectar and pollen. its challenge is the big dependance of specific nesting and food places and their low growth rate in population.

Especially the intensification in agricultural production is leading to a dramatic loss of ecosystems rich in structure like bushes, deadwood or heaps of stones and a reduction of blossoming plants

It is in our sustainable interest that a large biodiversity especially within the bee population is providing healthy habitats.

HELP PROTECT DIVERSE ECOSYSTEMS AND THE EXISTENCE OF WILD BEES

With the natural fairy tale Die Bienenkönigin (The Queen Bee), the children of the 5th grade of the Brothers Grimm School from Calvörde, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, campaign for more environmental awareness and especially for the protection of wild bees. Die Bienenkönigin is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

To lead with your eyes – We learn the language of horses

Eyes say more than words!  Animals deserve our respect and protection.

This short video was taken during a horse based communication training for kids. While visiting them in their natural habitat, we learned about the natural being of horses, their tremendous perception and the “horse sense”. We got into direct contact with them and practiced leadership exercises using no force at all.