News Illegal wildlife trade

The Greater Green Leafbird is now Endangered © vil.sandi / Flickr

7 things you might have missed from the 2019 Red...

Fri, 13/12/2019
Every year, our scientists work around the clock to update the threat status of birds on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. While the amazing recovery of the Guam Rail might have taken centre stage, 2019 heralded plenty more important discoveries. From victims of climate change to exciting new information on unknown birds, here are the latest ups and downs of the avian world that might not have made the headlines.
Common Quail caught in a 'mist net' © Watter AlBahry

Scale of illegal bird killing in the Middle East...

Tue, 27/08/2019
A study out today, for the first time, estimates the scale and extent of the illegal killing and taking of wild birds in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Iran. Using a diverse range of data sources and incorporating expert knowledge, we estimate that at least 1.7–4.6 million birds of at least 413 species may be killed or taken illegally each year in this region, many of them on migration. Worryingly, this is likely to be an underestimate as data were unavailable for parts of the region.
Knobbed Hornbill © Onrej Prosicky / Shutterstock

Using education to build a grassroots hornbill...

Tue, 06/08/2019
Not long ago, communities living around Indonesia's Poayato Paguat forests hunted hornbills for food and used their casques as talismans and decorations in their homes. Today, these communities are on the frontline in the fight to protect these magnificent birds.
Saiga populations have plummeted from millions to under 130,000 © Victor Tyakht

New partnership to protect underdog species from...

Mon, 03/06/2019
Four leading NGOs have joined forces through Restore Species to tackle illegal and unsustainable hunting, trade, and poisoning of animal species worldwide.
The Eastern Imperial Eagle is classed as Vulnerable on the Red List of threatened species © BirdLife Europe

A mighty predator made helpless at the hands of...

Fri, 05/04/2019
The eagle is a long-standing symbol of strength and glory, but though triumphant within the animal kingdom, the predator becomes the prey when the Eastern Imperial Eagle is confronted with human persecution. Can we restore one of Europe’s rarest raptors?
The Egyptian Vulture was once nicknamed the "Pharaoh's Chicken" © BirdLife Europe

World’s only tool-using vulture risks being lost...

Thu, 28/02/2019
Hailed for its intelligence and majesty, the Egyptian Vulture was admired and worshipped throughout history. But decimated by poisoning, electrocution and illegal trophy hunting, the bird that was once an Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph is now Endangered. Can we save it before it’s too late?

Shipment of illegally killed birds discovered in...

Mon, 12/11/2018
Our Slovenian partner DOPPS reports on the alarming discovery of a huge shipment of illegally killed birds discovered in Slovenia en route to Italy last month. Significant numbers of Red-thorated pipit, White wagtail and Meadow pipit were found amongst a haul of over a thousand individuals birds.
The Chattering Lory is being captured from the wild in unsustainable numbers © Panu Ruangjan

The 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference: our...

Wed, 17/10/2018
It’s not just elephants and rhinos: BirdLife’s presence at this last week’s conference in London reminded the world of the birds that also need urgent help. Here are the pledges we made to protect the world’s most targeted birds, including parrots, hornbills and vultures.
These Chattering Lories were about to be shipped abroad when they were seized by law enforcement © Burung Indonesia

A new action plan to tackle illegal parrot...

Thu, 26/07/2018
In North Maluku, Indonesia, traders are using more and more complex methods to trap and market parrots, and many species are now globally threatened with extinction. BirdLife Partner Burung Indonesia united national parks, conservation groups and police investigators to develop a plan of action.
"East Indes Market Stall in Batavia", painted in the 17th century by an unknown artist

Flight of Fancy: early depictions of the parrot...

Fri, 20/07/2018
Parrots are such popular pets that their capture has driven many species to the brink of extinction in the wild. But this isn't a new phenomenon - their role in human culture has been ingrained for millennia. We explore what parrots in art can tell us about the history of world trade routes.

The Dog Patrol – Kazakhstan’s wildlife wardens

Mon, 25/09/2017
Danara Zharbolova & Alyona Krivosheyeva introduces Kazakhstan’s newest crack security squad – a dog patrol, trained to sniff out illegal wildlife trafficking.
Armonía's Alternative Feather programme is protecting the rare Blue-throated Macaw © Wendy Willis

A new hope for the Blue-throated Macaw

Fri, 13/01/2017
A successful programme geared towards promoting the use of artificial feathers in ceremonial headdresses gives renewed hope for the survival of the Blue-throated Macaw.
Market in Jakarta, Indonesia © Michelle Robinson

The silencing of the songbirds

Thu, 08/12/2016
The 2016 Red List reveals that Indonesia’s love of songbirds is a tainted love; unsustainable trapping is driving many endemic species towards extinction.
At 1.5 metres long the Helmeted Hornbill is the largest of its kind in Asia © Michaela Koschova

Ivory poachers driving rare bird to extinction

Wed, 28/09/2016
It's not just elephants and rhinos that face the wrath of ivory poachers; the distinctive casque of the Helmeted Hornbill is also being targeted for its supposed medicinal benefits.

One more in a cage; no more in the wild

Fri, 27/05/2016
A new study shows that, without action, soon the only places to see and hear Indonesian bird species will be in cages. There are 13 bird species found in Sundaic Indonesia which are at serious risk of extinction. Holding the status of Indonesia’s national bird would render Javan Hawk-eagle immune to over-harvesting? No, even this species is rapidly disappearing.
Hon. Ibrahim Usman Jibril (3rd from Right) Nigeria’s State Minister for Environment  with side event organisers ©Ken Mwathe

African leaders step up fight against Illegal...

Fri, 29/04/2016
African governments make a commitment towards addressing Illegal Exploitation and Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora in Africa during the Sixth Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) held on 16-19 April in Cairo, Egypt.

'Slipgate': The Naked Truth

Tue, 10/11/2015
LPO/BirdLife France volunteers and journalists were physically assaulted by a man with a shovel after they attempted to remove illegal poaching traps in a village in south-east France.

Africa begins Journey to Combat Illegal Trade in...

Mon, 11/05/2015
Experts from governments, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), African Union (AU), Regional Economic Commissions, civil society organisations and donors met in Brazzaville to develop an African Strategy to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade to coordinate action across the continent.