December 6, 2016 / 5:17 PM / 9 months ago

Conservationist tracks swan migration across Channel by motorized glider

LONDON (Reuters) - A conservationist has crossed the Channel in a motorized paraglider as part of a near three-month project to track the migration of swans across Europe.

Sacha Dench, who works for Britain’s Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, made the crossing from just outside Calais in northern France to Dover, southern England, on Monday.

The Flight of The Swans website tracking her journey, which began in arctic Russia, said she was the first woman to fly over the Channel in a paramotor.

Dench set off on Sept. 19 from the Pechora Delta on Russia’s northern coast to follow the 7,000-kilometre (4,350-mile) Bewick’s swan migration.

Her route has taken her through Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium and France. Her final destination is the Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire.

Dench is aiming to find out why the size of the migration has fallen, with numbers dipping to 18,000 swans from 29,000 between 1995 and 2010.

Reporting By Reuters Television; editing by John Stonestreet

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