Commitment to nature

Commitment to nature -

Jürg Paul Müller, a biologist from Chur, is one of the foremost campaigners for the reintroduction of the bearded vulture to the Alps. The 69-year-old is passionate about re-establishing the bearded vulture – but he is committed to other causes too.

Jürg Paul Müller was born in 1945 in Chur. He studied biology at the University of Zurich at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, specialising in zoology. From 1971 to 1973, he was head of the Semien Mountains National Park in Ethiopia, where he came into contact with bearded vultures for the first time – becoming a fan of these mighty yet sedate birds. From 1973 to 2010, Müller was director of the Graubünden Natural History Museum in Chur, where he was primarily involved in implementing scientific findings. He is author of a number of different exhibitions and publications, organiser of specialist symposia and courses, and guest speaker at numerous events. Since retiring, he has worked on a freelance basis in the field of mammalian biology and scientific communication. He is also a founder member and Chairman of the Stiftung Pro Bartgeier (Swiss Foundation for Bearded Vultures), project manager of the Schatzinsel Alp Flix Foundation and trustee of the Pro Lutra Foundation.

Tip for a "biological" trip: Alp Flix

Bubbling brooks and flower-strewn meadows: this is the charming Alp Flix, a plateau high above the village of Sur in Graubünden. Jürg Paul Müller is also to be found running around here: under his leadership, scientists from Switzerland and abroad are recording the entire biodiversity of this area. The main point of interest is the interplay between species and their environment: Alp Flix is to be examined as a biological community, thus bringing to light nature in all its rich diversity. Alp Flix is a paradise for hikers – but: if you want to extend your experience of nature to the fascinating micro world, you should follow hot on the heels of the Alp Flix researchers. Because this treasure island only reveals its truly dramatic secrets through a magnifying glass. www.schatzinselalpflix.ch

A bird's-eye view: bearded vultures in the Alps

A bird's-eye view: bearded vultures in the Alps

"The bearded vulture has a really calm way of approaching life – and that's what fascinates me," says Jürg Paul Müller. The biologist from Chur is one of those campaigning to resettle the bearded vulture in the Alps. Together with his team from the 'Pro Bartgeier' Foundation, he is making sure that these sedate birds, which were wiped out at the end of the nineteenth century, once more glide through our realms.

Swiss Foundation for Bearded Vultures

Swiss Foundation for Bearded Vultures

For a long time, the bearded vulture – with a wingspan of almost three metres and piercing red eyes – was persecuted, before finally disappearing from our mountain landscape around 100 years ago. The Stiftung Pro Bartgeier (Swiss Foundation for Bearded Vultures) is campaigning to return this magnificent bird of prey to its former Alpine habitat.