Welcome, everybody! Once again we're stuck with a bit of an overlap in geographical range with the UK Zoochat Challenge, but we won't let that stop us. While @Kevin and I do really like @Shorts' concept of a highly diverse, fixed animal checklist, we don't think it's necessary to have the same challenge twice. The UK is a part of Europe after all, and that could potentially create for a bit of a mix-up with numbers in case a UK member were to participate in both challenges. Thus, we figured a traditional taxonomic challenge for the entirety of Europe would still be interesting and relevant. This year's challenge will focus on the different fowl species of the world, officially called Galloanserae; a large group of species now down to just Anseriformes and Galliformes, but still incredibly diverse. All kinds of ducks, geese, swans, screamers, megapodes, cracids, guineafowl, quails and pheasants are this year's focus. Visits to a few key places should crank up your lists quite a bit, but since we combined both very different families, I don't believe any one collection could automatically grant anyone the winning ticket. Another reason this group of birds was chosen is because usually I, and I think perhaps some other members as well, tend to not pay too much attention to these birds (mainly the ducks go unnoticed for me), whereas every single one of them is unique and interesting, and certainly deserving of more attention. I'll be keeping this challenge to a species level to avoid any confusion and/or debates. Since we're listing birds and there are a lot of useful bird lists, I believe it's the most logical to use them; There's a lot of conflict about which ones are better so I'll leave for everybody individually to decide, but it's important you stay consistent! No using IOC to take advantage of one split, and Clements to take advantage of another. This challenge of course also has rules, with credits to Shorts: 1. You have to actually see the animal, even if just for a second. You don't score if you visit a collection but don't see the animal (harsh, but fair); 2. Proof via photographs is not required, your word is your bond; 3. You have to see the animal via normal public access (i.e. not including zookeeper for the day or photography days behind the scenes) during normal public opening hours (i.e. no scoring because you know the keeper and can get access before/after hours). Basically the species has to be seen as Joe Public would; 4. Only collections located in what is geographically Europe will count in this challenge (including Iceland, the UK, Ireland, the Mediterranean islands, but excluding Georgia, Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey to avoid conflicts about what is and isn't 'Europe.') 5. Report/update your progress on this thread as you go along; 6. The winner will be deemed to be the person(s) who's seen the most at 31st December 2018; 7. Many zoos have freeroaming waterfowl species on their grounds, and we understand that this might cause for some confusion about which ones are captive and which ones aren't. It's hard for us to really make a clear rule about this, so we think it's best to just use your own judgment; exotic species that are obviously clipped/pinioned and/or ringed would count, whereas a native species that still seems capable of flight and has no trace of a ring wouldn't. It's not the end of the world if a 'wild' species is accidentally counted, since sometimes it's hard to be certain. Zootierliste could help confirm any suspicions. 8. @Kevin and my decision on any questions is final, but we're open to discussion and debate on any specific points. This challenge is solely for fun, sadly I won't be able to offer the winner an actual prize. Most of all, we hope everyone has a great time!