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Epson Helps Preserve Rare Birds in Croatia


To help preserve wildlife in Croatia and the surrounding region, Epson supports the Croatian Raptor Rescue Center. Located outside the city of Sibenik and managed by USC (Udruga Sokorlarski Centar, The Falcon Rescue Association) , a non-government organization, the Center manages the Atlas of Bird Feathers project, which involves creating a digital archive of native birds' feathers and posting them on the USC website.

The Atlas of Bird Feathers is an ongoing USC project that aims to protect native birds of prey in Croatia and other countries. By posting high-resolution scans of dorsal (upper) surfaces of primary, secondary and tail feathers, the project supports easier identification of birds of prey in Croatia. Information gained in the project significantly contributes to solving issues such as bird collisions with aircraft and to combating poaching and illegal trade. The feather atlas is an ongoing project and continually adds new scans that are made available to similar institutions worldwide.


Scanner doesn't miss a thing

Digitizing birds' feathers requires large and detailed images in high resolution. Epson therefore provided its premium Expression 10000XL scanner, which offers scanning resolution of up to 2400 dpi and high optical density of 3.8 DMax, for high quality scanning up to a full A3 format.

The project plays an important role in animal forensics in Croatia. When a dead bird of prey is found, researchers need to look closely at the feathers to determine not only the species, but also the age and gender. However, bird feathers are extremely sensitive and require special microclimate conditions for maintenance as their color and shape change even in optimal conditions. Digitized feathers, on the other hand, retain their original shape and color, and provide the basis for long-term comparative studies.


Sustainable tourism


The Raptor Rescue Center is located in the Dubrava pine forest, just eight kilometers from downtown Sibenik. It is a unique site where visitors can learn about the mysterious world of these sky hunters. The Centre is slowly but surely becoming a tourist attraction and thus provides a rare opportunity for visitors from Croatia and abroad to meet wild birds of prey at first hand. USC is certified by the Croatian Ministry of the Environment and Natural Protection for keeping and caring for protected animal species.


"The realization of this project opens up numerous possibilities for further development of animal forensics in Croatia, and enables us to apply our findings to other areas of research," says project leader Emilio Mendusic. "High-resolution scans enable more accurate identification of the species and are equally useful tools for professional and amateur ornithologists, animal forensics specialists, environmental protection inspectors and customs officers. Two similar projects, one in America and one in Europe, have guided us in the formative process of our project. Identifying bird species by a tiny part of the feather is especially important in the airline industry when collisions among aircraft and birds occur."

Technology helps the environment

Epson is a leading worldwide manufacturer of scanners and other imaging equipment, and was a natural choice to support this project. The Expression 10000XL scanner is one of the few devices that could achieve the required quality for the archived files, without which this project would not have been possible.

"Epson's long-standing history in environmental engagement and our commitment to energy-saving, compact and high-precision technologies, drives us to play an active role in the contribution to the environment," said Renato Vincenti, Marketing Development Manager at Epson."Epson's environmental goals include the restoration and preservation of biodiversity together with local communities. With this aim in mind, we supported the USC project, which is an innovative application of our products and concrete evidence of Epson's commitment to preserving endangered species and nature".