Europe and Central Asia

Preventing Extinctions - Europe and Central Asia


Europe is home to more than 530 regularly occurring wild bird species, with a total estimated breeding population of around two billion pairs. Millions more migrate through the continent en route to Africa, and millions of others from the Arctic or Russia spend the winter in Europe.

Currently, 53 (10%) of these species are considered to be of global conservation concern, and are listed as 'Threatened' or 'Near Threatened' on the IUCN Red List. These range from species endemic to single islands, to widespread species occurring in many countries.

Here's how BirdLife's European and Central Asian Partners are taking action to improve the status of these species and prevent extinctions:


Assessing the status and habitats of all birds in Europe

The assessment was realised through the BirdLife project Birds in Europe and concluded by the production of two book volumes with the same name, which contain the data collected through the multi-annual project.

On 20 May 2017, BirdLife International will release the publication European birds of conservation concern: populations, trends and national responsibilities. This publication summarises the conservation status of 541 wild bird species in 50 European countries and territories (based on the 2016 IUCN Global Red List and taxonomic update), and aims to help national governments to easily identify the species that are in urgent need of attention and protection. 


Producing the European Red List of Birds

BirdLife led a broad consortium of partners in the production of the 2015 European Red List of Birds, funded by the European Commission.


Protecting threatened birds 

Threatened birds need particular attention. BirdLife Europe Partners continue to develop conservation measures and activities aiming at avoiding further decline and at improving their status.   


Keeping common birds common

Common birds are often ignored in conservation measures because their status is better than other species. However, they suffer a wide variety of threats that could quickly make them lose their "common" status. In Europe and Central Asia, BirdLife Partners take action in order to mitigate human activities, climate change and other threats that lead to declines of common bird species and their populations.


Briefings and other documents




Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.