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New net-bottom cages developed by WRCO and in use across Europe!

A net-bottom cage is a special type of cage adapted for the temporary housing of pelagic birds. During oil spills, there is often a shortage of these cages, or their rapid construction is not ideal due to the lack of suitable materials which are quickly available. Network partner Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend (WRCO) has undertaken a project to find a better model – a net-bottom cage for everyday use which is easy to use, made for easy transport and stacking, low cost and applicable for multiple species.

After searching for suitable materials and ensuring the design included adjustments based on the existing wooden model, the big challenge was finding a company that could meet all the requirements. After discussions with several companies, eventually Conteyor, an international company that produces recycled plastic reusable packaging for the car and aircraft industry, accepted the challenge.

Several prototypes were reviewed by EUROWA partners and tested by WRCO at the Rescue Centre. This allowed them to have adjustments made and come up with an ideal model. The result smoothly combines all the features WRCO wanted to see and is now replacing the old heavier wooden cages. Wildlife responders are enthusiastic about the new model, which is much lighter, height-adjustable and easier to clean.

The largest order has come from the Dutch authorities Rijkswaterstaat: 200 units are now ready to be deployed immediately in case of an oil spill. Another 200 or so are now stocked and/or used daily in wildlife rehab facilities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland, and soon in the UK.

It is wonderful to see how the expertise of an international network combined with the daily operation and know-how of WRCO led to the development of this beautiful model!

For more information please contact Claude Velter at the WRCO (

Further details on the Net-bottom cages can be found here

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