The School Links Programme (SLP) was established in 2011 as part of a conservation and wildlife management project targeted at Saker Falcons in Mongolia, where artificial nests have been used to increase the breeding population of this endangered falcon species. Schools in the 20 districts where artificial nests have been erected have been provided with educational resources to help students understand why 5000 artificial nests were established on the Mongolian Steppe. The primary aim of the SLP was to link 20 Mongolian schools with international schools in order to increase local awareness and develop local custodianship of the artificial nests in each district. Presently there are 42 schools actively involved from Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with a planned additional two schools joining before the end of 2015. The SLP gives children from Mongolia and other countries the opportunity to exchange knowledge and culture using falconry and raptor conservation as a means of introduction.
The SLP provides educational resources in multiple languages, which use falconry to create units of work related to biology, ecology, conservation, history, literature, language and cultural heritage. Each unit of work contains a PowerPoint presentation, student worksheet and activity. Most units have full teacher’s notes. Students can access the resources independently from a dedicated website or units of work can be delivered to a class or small group by a teacher, falconer or raptor biologist. The resources are aimed at children aged nine to twelve, although they can easily be adapted to suit older or younger students.