WHEN & HOW
Wool is at the core of Baabuk. And we are committed to protecting our fluffy friends who share this magic fiber with us. As a commitment to the conservation and expansion of sheep populations, we developed the Miss Baabuka program.
In November 2020, we launched an initiative with Swiss Foundation ProSpecieRara to join their ongoing work to protect six endangered breeds of sheep native to Switzerland. Over the course of the four-day campaign, we raised nearly 8,500 CHF to support the program and officially launched the Miss Baabuka project on December 1st.
WHO IS PROSPECIERARA
ProSpecieRara is a 40-year-old Swiss Foundation with a proven track record in biodiversity conservation working with the European Commission and the Swiss Confederation. The organization is Zewo certified, which guarantees that all donations are used for their intended purpose.
ProSpecieRara began working to protect the native sheep of the Saas valley in 2013 when the population of this rare type Bergamasca sheep declined by 75%. After research and analysis, ProSpecieRara began working with local breeders in 2014 to promote interest in breeding the Saas sheep. After a devasting loss in 2014 when 103 sheep were discovered to be have been stolen, local media began covering the project. Since then, ProSpecieRara has successfully worked with local breeders to continue increasing the population, improving care, and enhancing the tracking of these rare, endemic sheep.
The Miss Baabuka project will provide support for this ongoing conservation program. Proceeds will be used to fund ProSpecieRara’s work, namely:
- support for the breeders of the six sheep breeds, who are in dire need of help to ensure their survival.
- promotion of the breeds among current breeders and to motivate future breeders to add these endangered breeds to their flocks
- management of herd books
- mediation of offspring through online platforms which facilitate trustworthy animal transfers and promotion of these rare breeds
WHO IS MISS BAABUKA
Miss Baabuka is a sheep living in the Saas Valley of Switzerland. She was selected as the honorary representative of Baabuk’s partnership with ProSpecieRara. A member of the endangered Saas breed, Miss Baabuka’s story is illustrative of the many sheep this program is designed to support. And while she may be the face of the program (the very cute face of the program :-), the impact reaches far beyond her.
We will be providing updates on Miss Baabuka as she journeys through life with the support of ProSpecieRara. As an exciting initial update, Miss Baabuka gave birth just days after this program was funded – a proper welcoming to the initiative!
- NOVEMBER 26 2020 - Fundraising initiative launched during the SHEEP FRIDAY campaign
- NOVEMBER 30 2020 - The project funded with an initial donation from Baabuk's SHEEP FRIDAY 2020 campaign
- DECEMBER 2020 - Miss Baabuka was selected as the face of the program
- JUNE 2021 - Baabuk visits Miss Baabuka and the breeder, Mathias, for a program update
JULY 2021 - The latest edition of our #BeyondWool Series is published featuring Miss Baabuk
- NOVEMBER 2021 - An additional donation was made to the program during Baabuk's SHEEP FRIDAY 2021 campaign
- APRIL 2022 - Baabuk visits Miss Baabuka and the breeder, Mathias, for a program update & for Miss Baabuka's springtime shearing
- NOVEMBER 2022 - The Miss Baabuka Program has been renewed for a third consecutive year, and will receive additional funding for Baabuk's SHEEP FRIDAY 2022 campaign
As of 2023, The project has been going very well, although the pandemic was a real brake on interactions within the network since there were no farm visits for a long time. Fortunately the program had switched to a new "SheepOnline" breeding book just before everything started, so the main information flows could be maintained.
This was very important, especially for inbreeding calculations, mating planning and animal placement.
The fact that Saas sheep are consistently popular with breeders is very helpful. The demand for breeding stock exceeds the supply. This is certainly due to ProSpecieRara's good PR work. Only if people know that the Saas sheep exist and that they are under serious threat can they actively help. Baabuk's help to raise awareness of the breed is therefore of great value.
In October 2022, the "Tier-Expo" — the national exhibition of endangered breeds — took place for the fourth time in Brunegg. The Saas sheep were of course represented by a group and the brown and white lamb delighted the visitors to this great celebration of livestock diversity. After this great event, we received further enquiries from people who wanted to start breeding the Saaser Mutten breed. Even though we had to make everyone wait, as all the available animals are already placed, this is a very good sign for the breed and gives confidence.
Baabuk is proud to be supporting ProSpecieRara on this rescue project.