Europe and Central Asia
27 Jun 2013

Taking action for 60% of the world’s Critically Endangered bird species

By BirdLife Europe

A report released on June 22 at BirdLife World Congress reveals that BirdLife International has taken action for 60% of the world’s 197 Critically Endangered bird species with threats reduced or stabilised as a direct result.  The report focuses on the current state of the world’s most threatened birds, the factors causing their decline and what BirdLife is doing to address this issue. Through one dedicated work Programme, the Preventing Extinctions Programme, BirdLife tries to find innovative conservation solutions and delivers targeted action which has proved to be working. Of the 115 Critically Endangered Species BirdLife has been working on, 80% have benefitted from conservation actions, 63% are likely to be declining less rapidly and 20% are deemed to already have an improved status. A total of 1.313 bird species are threatened with extinction according to BirdLife International’s assessment for the 2012 IUCN Red List, as explained in the State of the World's Birds report also launched at Birdlife World Congress. Europe and Central Asia are regions in which 66 of the threatened species occur. Main threats to bird species in Europe include habitat loss, habitat degradation due to intensive farming practices and the use of poisons. To evaluate the risk of extinction for one individual species several factors play a role, such as the number of remaining habitats, the pace of decline and the overall number of individual birds. Europe and Central Asia are also the regions where most conservation action has been implemented. Actions include public awareness raising and increased conservation capacity. Since 2008 the BirdLife Partnership has also established protected areas for more than one third of the 115 species. As an example, the Black-tailed Godwit, which is the most widespread threatened species in Europe and Central Asia, 20 BirdLife Partners from both regions are actively working on the conservation of this flagship species. “With targeted conservation action and the right resources species can be saved. Birds like Zino’s Petrel, Azores Bullfinch, and Saker Falcon are all now responding well to the actions BirdLife Partners are taking with the help of governments, volunteers and companies” says BirdLife Europe Nature Conservation Officer Willem Van Den Bossche. “Thanks to these efforts species, like the Azores Bullfinch, have been given a future”. For more information: contact Willem Van Den Bossche, BirdLife Europe Nature Conservation Officer.

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.