News Preventing Extinctions Programme

Guam Kingfisher © Guam Department of Agriculture

Extinct in the Wild: can these 5 bird species...

Tue, 10/03/2020
In the light of the successful reintroduction of Guam Rail, we consider the prospects of the five remaining bird species categorised as Extinct in the Wild – all of which face unique barriers to re-entry.
Hatuta’a Island © Fred Jacq

Explore the remote islands at the crossroads of...

Wed, 05/02/2020
Join us on a photographic journey to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to explore the Marquesas, a remote French Polynesian archipelago where irreplaceable nature and culture are threatened by introduced and invasive species – and where BirdLife has big plans for restoration…
93% of the Black-breasted Puffleg's habitat has been altered or degraded © Murray Cooper

Growing flowers to save a Critically Endangered...

Mon, 27/01/2020
In Ecuador’s high Andean forests, the Black-breasted Puffleg is running out of habitat. A forest restoration programme offers hope, working with local people to plant the species’ favourite flowers.
Suzanne Medina and son release a Guam Rail into the wild © Guam Department of Agriculture

How did the Guam Rail come back from extinction...

Mon, 20/01/2020
After more than 30 years, the Guam Rail is back: breeding naturally beyond the confines of captive breeding enclosures – making it only the second bird species ever to recover from extinction in the wild. How did conservationists do it, and what can we learn about the threat of introduced predators?

La batalla por proteger al Zamarrito Pechinegro,...

Mon, 20/01/2020
El Zamarrito Pechinegro (Eriocnemis nigrivestis), es un colibrí endémico de Ecuador, en Peligro Crítico. Hace más de una década, Aves y Conservación, socio de BirdLife International, desarrolla proyectos para proteger a esta especie amenazada y su único hábitat: los bosques Alto Andinos.
The Marsh Antwren weighs around ten grams © Marco Silva

Critically Endangered antwren receives its first...

Fri, 10/01/2020
In October 2019, the Marsh Antwren was given its first ever protected area in the town of Guararema, Brazil. This tiny, Critically Endangered antbird lives in isolated populations on marshland just 50km from São Paulo, the largest city in South America.
The Blue-throated Macaw is bouncing back from the brink of extinction thanks to a special reserve in Bolivia © Asociacion Armonia

New study: conservation action has reduced bird...

Tue, 07/01/2020
We’ve all heard of species brought back from the brink of extinction, but have you ever wondered how impactful conservation actually is? A new study shows that global conservation action has reduced the effective extinction rate of birds by an astonishing 40%. But is it all good news?
Autumn is both rice harvesting season and migration season for Yellow-breasted Bunting © oLDcaR

Bringing the ‘rice bird’ back to Hong Kong

Wed, 18/12/2019
The Yellow-breasted Bunting used to flock in its thousands across Asia’s paddy fields. Now, due to hunting and changes in farming practices, it is Critically Endangered. A new project is bringing rice paddies back to Hong Kong, along with the birds that depend on them.
Straw-headed Bulbul pair © Pixabay

A new action plan to keep the Straw-headed Bulbul...

Mon, 16/12/2019
Captured from the wild for its beautiful voice, the Straw-headed Bulbul is now Critically Endangered. But at its final stronghold in Singapore, a new collaboration between NGOs, governments and businesses could help it to stage a comeback.
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.
Guam Rail © Andersen Air Force

Red List 2019: Guam Rail second bird to recover...

Tue, 10/12/2019
This year’s update to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species brings with it some fantastic conservation successes, including an almost unheard of incidence of a bird species coming back from extinction in the wild. But for other species, human threats are making it harder to stage a comeback.
One of Joe Wood’s assistants, Martin Prescot, in the captive breeding program © Joe Wood

The race to save the Santa Cruz Ground-dove

Thu, 05/12/2019
When a hundred Endangered doves were illegally captured from the wild, conservationists rushed to liberate them. But where do you release a bird when its last wild refuge is a dangerous active volcano? BirdLife’s Nigel Collar recounts how the effort united the conservation world.
Cebu Flowerpecker © HBW

Meet the Lazarus Birds: 5 species once presumed...

Tue, 03/09/2019
The dramatic rediscovery of the Antioquia Brush-finch – a species unseen for almost half a century – hit the headlines this past April. However, such incredible returns, although rare, are not unheard of. We explore some of the most miraculous examples of recent times, and what they teach us about the danger of presuming a species is extinct.
The Northern Bald Ibis is no longer Critically Endangered © Fireglo / Shutterstock

Northern Bald Ibis: baldly leading the way in...

Wed, 29/05/2019
Four ibis species in three very different circumstances. All facing extinction. One, the Northern Bald Ibis, is now recovering. What does it take to turn the tables on extinction?
The Rufous-headed Robin is one of the most narrowly-distributed birds in Asia © Summer Wong

News flash: Rufous-headed Robin spotted for first...

Thu, 04/04/2019
This secretive Endangered songbird has been spotted for the first time in three years, in the cloud forests of Malaysia – a completely new habitat for this species. Could this be its formerly unknown wintering grounds?

10 ways we've saved the world's rarest...

Tue, 04/12/2018
BirdLife's Preventing Extinctions Programme is celebrating its 10th anniversary. What are its 'Top 10' successes?

Spix’s Macaw heads list of first bird extinctions...

Wed, 05/09/2018
Eight bird species, including two species of macaw, look set to have their extinctions confirmed following a robust new assessment of Critically Endangered species. The findings reveal a worrying new trend: for the first time, mainland extinctions are outpacing island extinctions
In 2017, the Liberian Greenbul was reclassified as an invalid species © HBW

Solving the world’s great bird mysteries

Thu, 03/05/2018
Keen-eyed readers will note that we ‘lost’ a species in the 2017 Red List update – the Liberian Greenbul is no longer recognised as a valid species by BirdLife. But mourn not its loss: this is simply the latest in a long line of taxonomic avian mysteries to have been solved...