Education does not have to take place between the four walls, the classroom can be the wetlands themselves.
Our projects are focused on the protection of rare species and habitats, as well as on education and bringing nature closer to the people. As part of the project Restoration of habitats for root vole *Microtus oeconomus mehelyi, we are gradually creating various opportunities for educating the public.
In Hungary, our project partner Pisztráng Kör Egyesület uses the so-called Microtus minibus. A minibus converted into a mobile laboratory helps with teaching the children about secrets of the wetlands. Little researchers learn to take samples in the forest and from the water, identify various invertebrates, even calculate specific ecological indices, and thus describe the state of the local ecosystem.
The wetlands are home not only to the Pannonian root vole, but also to many water birds. The Microtus minibus gives children the opportunity to observe these birds with professional binoculars. Education in the field of ornithology is also enriched by the analysis of owl pellets (undigested bones of prey that the owl refutes). From the bones, it is possible to identify the species that owls have consumed. The owls hunt mostly on small mammals, such as the Pannonian root vole. These analyzes represent a very effective and non-invasive way of detecting the presence of small mammals in the localities. It is due to such activities that children get closer to nature, learn the natural laws and acquire scientific methods.
Our Austrian partners in the Neusiedler See-Seewinkel National Park have also created conditions for public education. In the wetlands of the village of Illmitz, a wooden platform was built directly above the water. It will serve the general public for observing aquatic animals and plants. It offers better access to the water and people can use it to board in boats without wetting themselves. Neusiedler See-Seewinkel offers the opportunity to sail among the reeds and enjoy the undisturbed charm of the wetlands.