HID­DEN TREA­SURES

Un­wanted col­lec­tions can prove a ma­jor boost for bird con­ser­va­tion – can you help?

Bird Watching (UK) - - News Wire -

GOT A COL­LEC­TION of stamps, coins, post­cards, or sim­i­lar? Want to help in­ter­na­tional bird con­ser­va­tion? You could clear out your at­tic and at the same time play a part in sav­ing some of the world’s most threat­ened bird species, thanks to Col­lectibles for Con­ser­va­tion. Back in March 2014, Birdlife Species Cham­pion Daniel Mirecki joined forces with Birdlife In­ter­na­tional with the aim of rais­ing funds for the Birdlife Pre­vent­ing Ex­tinc­tions Pro­gramme, which has al­ready ben­e­fited species such as Spoon-billed Sand­piper, So­cia­ble Lap­wing, North­ern Bald Ibis, Canada War­bler, Philip­pine Ea­gle and Sec­re­tary­bird. In many cases, such as the Spoon-billed Sand­piper, the sup­port of the Pro­gramme has staved off im­mi­nent ex­tinc­tion, and of­fers hope that a sus­tain­able wild pop­u­la­tion can be re­built. Daniel’s com­pany, Cover Story, has ex­per­tise in postal his­tory (old let­ter and cor­re­spon­dence ar­chives), phi­lately (old or spe­cialised stamp col­lec­tions), and post­cards from around the world, and his idea was to sell on do­nated col­lec­tions in aid of Birdlife In­ter­na­tional. Us­ing his pro­fes­sional skills and con­nec­tions, he can value do­na­tions and then en­sure that they are placed in the auc­tions where they will sell best. Do­na­tions al­ready re­ceived in­clude sev­eral stamp col­lec­tions, one of them bird-themed, coins in­clud­ing a 2,000-year-old ex­am­ple from Afghanistan, and a num­ber of his­toric bank-notes. A 0% ven­dor’s commission has been ar­ranged with lead­ing auc­tion­eers David Feld­man in Switzer­land, and Grosvenor Auc­tions in Lon­don. All costs are borne by Daniel, mean­ing donors aren’t charged, and all pro­ceeds go di­rectly to­wards help­ing birds. Cover Story has also made con­tacts with a net­work of spe­cial­ists in other fields, in or­der to max­imise the re­turn on non-postal col­lec­tions. Many lov­ingly com­piled and much-trea­sured col­lec­tions have now been passed down to younger gen­er­a­tions – some of whom are less in­ter­ested in their par­ents’ and grand­par­ents’ hob­bies and pas­times. When this hap­pens, col­lectibles and col­lec­tions are of­ten stored care­fully away, and usu­ally re­main hid­den in cup­boards or draw­ers for years on end. Daniel said: “Please scour your cup­boards for col­lectibles. Per­haps you have in­her­ited a col­lec­tion, which is of lit­tle in­ter­est to you but has a fi­nan­cial value, which can now be re­leased to help save a threat­ened species from ex­tinc­tion.” See the panel for de­tails of how you can help. Do­nated col­lec­tions pro­vide vi­tal re­sources to help birds in need

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