The dashing blue of Common Kingfishers can be seen all year round in Japan, and their recovery across the country in recent years is a promising sign for its freshwater habitats. Discover more about this iconic species and the peculiar history of its Japanese name.
Since early 2022, the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Partnership has begun the process of identifying the most important sites for nature in two of the world’s most biodiverse regions, the Tropical Andes and the Congo Basin. Funded by the Bezos Earth Fund, this project is a critical step to ensuring that these vital sites for nature are protected.
Thousands of marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles, sharks, and rays are killed in fishing gear every year in European waters. This bycatch is one of the main causes of the declines seen in many of these species' population. But marine species are not the only ones to suffer. For fishers, bycatch means damaged equipment, lost bait, lost fish, and precious time wasted removing bycaught animals from nets, lines, and hooks.
As with many of the world’s albatross species, bycatch from fisheries is a major threat to Wandering Albatrosses. A new study led by BirdLife and the British Antarctic Survey, in collaboration with Global Fishing Watch, revealed that over half of Wandering Albatrosses that breed on Bird Island, South Georgia, come into contact with fishing vessels from multiple fishing nations. Bycatch risk was highest along the Patagonian Shelf break, highlighting the critical need for conservationists to work with multiple fleets to implement best-practice mitigation measures in the region.
The survival of Europe depends on healthy ecosystems, resilient to climate change. As part of the EU’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, EU countries have committed to legally protect a minimum of 30% of the EU’s land and sea areas; a third of these are to be strictly protected, in other words, totally undisturbed by human activity.
Running two days into overtime, COP27 has largely failed to live up to its billing as ‘the implementation COP’. While agreement on a fund to compensate developing countries for losses and damages due to climate change was a true breakthrough, as well as the hard-fought recognition of the right to a healthy environment making the final text, much else fell short, including on increasing climate action commitments to ‘keep 1.5 alive’, and strengthening nature-climate linkages.
This week, governments will descend on Panama City for another Conference of the Parties (CoP) to an international agreement, this time to take key decisions to make sure the international trade of animals and plants doesn’t threaten their survival. BirdLife will be in attendance to use our extensive knowledge and experience in conservation to help guide these decisions.