Spotted Hyena Project Patron
Patron Franz Weiß patronizes SAVE’s Spotted Hyena Project based in the Congo Basin. He is co-founder of König & Weiß Dental Technology and Managing Director of the Society for Tooth Health, Functionality and Aesthetics (GZFA) in Germany.
“I have always loved African wildlife. During my first visit to the country of Botswana, I heard the striking call of the hyena at sundown. It made that beautiful sunset all the more impressive.
Hyenas do not get enough respect. Some people think they are ugly; others are a little put off by their tendency to enjoy eating dead animals. However, hyenas play an incredibly important role in their ecosystems. They serve as nature’s garbage collectors, cleaning up carcasses that can spread diseases to other wildlife.
To me, hyenas are captivating. Because of my professional background in dentistry, I have a great appreciation for their ability to chew through and eat just about everything – including animal bones. I am excited to learn more about the spotted hyena as SAVE’s project progresses.”
Eagle Owl Protection Project Patron
I have always been fascinated with owls. When I was a child, my family would visit the Wasenmoos, a nature reserve in Bavaria, Germany in the southeastern part of the country. Here, I would watch eagle owls, tawny owls, and other owl species flying above the peat bogs that make up much of the reserve.
My love of owls led me to support SAVE’s Eagle Owl Protection Project in Germany as the project’s major patron. Hundreds of years of hunting pushed the eagle owl to the brink of extinction throughout Central Europe. Thanks to a resettlement project that began in the 1960s and ended in the 1980s, eagle owls have made a comeback. Government biologists moved the birds from areas in West Germany, where they were persecuted, to the District of Mettman in Northern Germany. This region boasts the largest limestone quarry and a range of other quarries where the eagle owls like to nest in rock crevices.
Though a strictly protected species in Germany, eagle owls are still vulnerable to extinction. New dangers threaten the birds. New agricultural production is destroying habitat by reducing the owls’ prey base of small mammals and birds. Owls can crash into wind farm turbines that are increasingly popping up throughout their habitat. Other threats include collisions with cars, trains, and power lines. SAVE’s Eagle Owl Protection Project funds research to identify ways to reduce these threats.