The French Ministry of Ecology, Nicolas Hulot has committed to ending the large-scale trapping of Ortolan Bunting, which takes place to meet demand for a cruel dish where the songbird is blinded, plumpened and drowned in brandy. It's a practice that has driven population declines of up to 84% in Europe since 1980.
When we talk about birdsong, we cannot simply refer to a single "voice". It is a great chorus of complex sounds, it is a real language in itself. The dry "teak" of a sparrow, the plaintive "gheck gheck gheck" of a woodpecker, the shrill "chirrip" of a lark – each sound has its own purpose and is used in very specific circumstances. For birdwatchers, learning how to ‘decode’ the secret language of birds is a great way to identify different species and to better understand their behaviour.
How do we conserve birds? By learning from previous threats how to protect Critically Endangered species. Hundreds of species of bird that have been wiped out by human activity in the modern era. Here are just a few species that illustrate the major threats still facing birds today.
Vultures are one of the most threatened families of birds in the entire world and their decline has been shockingly rapid. Some species in Africa and the Indian subcontinent have declined by over 95% in the last few decades, a rate faster than even that of the Passenger Pigeon or Dodo.
The International Single Species Action Plan (ISSAP) for the Conservation of the Shoebill Balaeniceps rex is now available. Its overall goal is to increase the Shoebill’s population size and maintain its current range.
A complete list of birds of prey within the Accipitridae family is shown below. The Accipitridae is one of the two major families within the order Accipitriformes (the diurnal birds of prey). Many well-known birds, such as hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures are included in this group.