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The birdwatching Ryder Cup

The European Golf Association Ecology Unit has challenged Audubon International to a birdwatching competition.

It will be called the Birdwatching Ryder Cup, and is one of the many events related to the 1997 Ryder Cup to be held at Valderamma, Spain in September.

The main focus of the Ryder Cup aside from the golf is to have the most environmentally friendly international golf tournament, ever to be held. It was felt that a friendly birdwatching competition would be an excellent way to blend wildlife and golf.

On 21st May a team of European birdwatchers will be identifying bird species on twelve European courses from midnight, while at the same time twelve American birdwatchers will be doing the same on courses in America. captains for the two teams will be David Stubbs for Europe and Ron Dodson for America. The two captains are presently assembling the teams and working towards the final selection of course birdwatching sites.

The match will be based on the total number of species observed by each team on its twelve sites, with the highest aggregate score winning.

Because of the large number of bird species in the USA, a handicap of 8 American species equating to 5 European species will be employed in determining the final result.

Many golfers do not appreciate just how good golf courses can be for birds.

Events such as this are hoped to help to improve this awareness. Additionally it will be a controlled effort towards information about the species of birds using golf courses.

The European Golf Association Ecology Unit can be contacted at +44 (0)1306 74 32 88 or fax +44 (0)1306 74 24 94.