25 Jan 2011

Winners of The World's Rarest Birds announced

By Martin Fowlie
The winners of The World’s Rarest Birds international photo competition have just been announced. The competition, launched in 2010, aimed to secure images of the 566 most threatened birds on Earth for a new book highlighting their plight. Thousands of images were entered into the competition and hundreds will be featured in The World’s Rarest Birds to be published in 2012 by the ethical publishing company WILDGuides. Profits from sales will go to BirdLife International’s Preventing Extinctions Programme to help support conservation projects worldwide. Erik Hirschfeld, Chief Editor of The World's Rarest Birds, said "We would like to thank all the photographers who kindly submitted their images to the project. Having so many amazing images to choose from will certainly ensure that the book contains the most complete collection of photographs of the most threatened birds ever published. We are working hard to complete the book by next year but, for those wishing for a preview, all 13 winning images, and those that were highly commended, will be on display at the British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water in August and are sure to cause quite a stir." “Having now analyzed the competition entries, I am delighted to report that we have been offered photos of nearly 90% of the 566 species that are currently categorized as either Extinct in the Wild, Critically Endangered or Endangered. We are very grateful to Minox, Lynx Edicions, BirdLife International, WILDGuides, Princeton University Press and the World Migratory Bird Day who kindly agreed to support the project by providing a range of attractive prizes for the competition. I am sure that this support helped to encourage more people to submit their images for use in this important project." "We are delighted to be working with BirdLife in producing The World's Rarest Birds", said Andy Swash, Managing Director of WILDGuides. "Although it will be a wonderfully illustrated book, its key message is poignant – a large proportion of the World’s birds, including every one depicted, is threatened with extinction. This is a great concern to many and I just hope that the production of The World's Rarest Birds will help to raise awareness and make some contribution to their conservation." Ade Long, BirdLife's Head of Communications said, "The response to The World’s Rarest Birds photo competition was quite remarkable. The number and of entries was almost overwhelming, and the quality of the images just breath-taking. The book in which they will feature will, I am sure, be stunning and BirdLife is indebted to the many photographers who have contributed for providing the impetus to make it happen.” See the full list of Critically Endangered species