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Campaigning against the slaughter of migrant birds in the Mediterranean region

Environmental activist Hannes Jaenicke in a film and TV spot shooting on Majorca

Hannes Jaenicke during the film shoot on MajorcaHannes Jaenicke during the film shoot on Majorca“If the role is good” says Hannes Jaenicke “I’ll play it“. That goes at least for the TV productions shown this year in Germany with high quotas of viewers. As environmental activist, a role in which he has become well known in the past few years, he now has to turn down “90 % of the requests” because there are no more free slots in his diary. “Nonetheless, I do what I can”. And he keeps his word. Otherwise he wouldn’t take two days to go to Majorca to shoot a film spot for the Pro Diversity Foundation in their fight against the annual illegal and gruesome slaughter of millions of migrating birds in the Mediterranean region. According to Pro Biodiversity chair Roland Tischbier species such as Song Thrushes, Warblers, Larks and Robins are caught for the ‘gourmet’ trade on limesticks (Cyprus), snares (Sardinia) or nets (Malta). “In 2010 alone 1.2 million migrant birds died on limesticks on Cyprus. When the birds land on the prepared sticks, cleverly positioned to make attractive perches, they get stuck on the glue and suffer for hours in their hopeless attempts to free themselves”. On Majorca, where the film is being shot, song birds are trapped and die in nets. Throughout Europe 150 million birds are illegally slaughtered every year - equivalent to about 6,000 lorry loads.

Before the film shooting on Majorca says Hannes Jaenicke “I was unaware of the enormous extent of this murder of millions of birds”. The short film will be shown in cinemas in Germany from March onwards as well as on the German third TV regional programmes. Hannes’ lack of knowledge on the problem to date is hardly surprising given the wide extent of his commitment to nature and environmental protection and human rights. “These three aspects are inseparable!” he states. He has campaigned for conservation of the Orang-Utan in Borneo, and has made films together with the German ZDF TV company on other endangered species such as the Polar Bear, sharks and gorillas. In 2010 Shark Project International nominated Jaenicke ‚Shark Guardian of the Year‘. The more ecological niches the actor investigates the more he is aware of the complete extent of the worldwide environmental catastrophe. “Anger is always there” he admits. “I now let it rage in TV instead of just making a financial donation”. For as the sympathetic actor, who will be 51 this month says: “Giving money alone is not enough”. His next environmental project , in cooperation with Spiegel TV, is a documentary on ocean dumping of CO 2.