News illegal hunting

The Wadden Sea in north-west Europe is one of the world's most important hubs for migrating birds © travelpeter / Shutterstock

11 spectacular bird migration bottlenecks from...

Wed, 05/05/2021
Migratory birds' epic journeys often take place on broad fronts, but birds also concentrate at bottlenecks where geographical features funnel them together. This selection of hotspots underscores the importance of conservation action in the way birds see the world: through flyways.
Gábor Deák with Falco, the anti-poisoning sniffer dog © Szilard Morvai  / BirdLife Hungary

Despatches from the bird migration battlefront

Wed, 28/04/2021
With millions of birds illegally killed each year, working to protect them can seem like an overwhelming battle. That’s when inspirational, heart-warming success stories are needed. We hear first-hand accounts from conservation’s ‘frontline’ in Malta, Hungary and Lebanon.
Near-invisible "mist nets" are often used to trap birds like this Common Kingfisher on migration © BCST

New study: at least 180 migratory land bird...

Mon, 19/04/2021
The latest research sheds new light on the plight of land birds that migrate across Asia, revealing that at least 180 species are being trapped for food, the caged bird trade and other uses – often illegally. This, together with hunting and habitat destruction, is driving widespread declines.
Captive-reared Southern Ground Hornbills are tutored by a wild alpha male © Arno Meintjes / Flickr

Latest research: Hornbills sent to school, turtle...

Tue, 23/03/2021
Join us for a bite-sized round-up of advances published in our journal Bird Conservation International. Highlights include the complexities of reintroducing hornbills to the wild, the truly devastating scale of European Turtle-dove hunting, and a newly-identified Spoon-billed Sandpiper moulting site.
The Red Kite disappeared from England for 100 years © Scott M Ward / Shutterstock

Red List update: how we brought the Red Kite home...

Fri, 05/03/2021
The 2020 Red List update showed that many raptors are now in peril. In more positive news, the Red Kite was downlisted to Least Concern, thanks in part to a wildly successful reintroduction program that saw the species return to England and Scotland after a century’s absence.
This is one helmet that sadly does not provide protection © Craig Ansibin / Shutterstock

How we're helping the Helmeted Hornbill to...

Fri, 31/07/2020
Teetering on the edge of extinction due to demand for its prized 'casque', the Helmeted Hornbill now finds itself with a fighting chance of survival thanks to bolstered law enforcement and patrols of its dwindling forest habitat
Over five years, satellite trackers were fitted to over 100 Hen Harriers © RSPB

Tracking technology confirms controversial cause...

Thu, 05/03/2020
Using tracking technology, the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) has exposed the controversial reason behind the disappearance of Britain’s Hen Harriers. In a country renowned for its love of birds, how can we protect the nation’s most persecuted raptor?
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.
Eurasian Golden Oriole © Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH / Shutterstock

The Killing Crisis

Thu, 26/09/2019
BirdLife's research has revealed that an estimated 25 million birds are illegally killed or taken each year across the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Caucasus. Here, we delve deeper into the shocking discoveries that galvanised our Flight for Survival campaign.
Common Quail caught in a 'mist net' © Watter AlBahry

Scale of illegal bird killing in the Middle East...

Tue, 27/08/2019
A study out today, for the first time, estimates the scale and extent of the illegal killing and taking of wild birds in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Iran. Using a diverse range of data sources and incorporating expert knowledge, we estimate that at least 1.7–4.6 million birds of at least 413 species may be killed or taken illegally each year in this region, many of them on migration. Worryingly, this is likely to be an underestimate as data were unavailable for parts of the region.
Rufous-headed Hornbill © Haribon Foundation

Critically Endangered hornbill becomes community...

Tue, 06/08/2019
In the Philippines, the Rufous-headed Hornbill has been driven to the brink of extinction by hunting and deforestation. But thanks to a new project, it is celebrated among local people, and has kicked off a movement to restore the area’s forests.
Knobbed Hornbill © Onrej Prosicky / Shutterstock

Using education to build a grassroots hornbill...

Tue, 06/08/2019
Not long ago, communities living around Indonesia's Poayato Paguat forests hunted hornbills for food and used their casques as talismans and decorations in their homes. Today, these communities are on the frontline in the fight to protect these magnificent birds.

Anti-poaching camps give honey-buzzard sweet...

Mon, 08/04/2019
The European Honey-buzzard is fearless in the face of stinging wasps and hornets - but it has no defence against illegal shooting for sport. In Italy, “anti-poaching camps” sparked an extremely successful movement which has saved thousands of honey-buzzards.
The Eastern Imperial Eagle is classed as Vulnerable on the Red List of threatened species © BirdLife Europe

A mighty predator made helpless at the hands of...

Fri, 05/04/2019
The eagle is a long-standing symbol of strength and glory, but though triumphant within the animal kingdom, the predator becomes the prey when the Eastern Imperial Eagle is confronted with human persecution. Can we restore one of Europe’s rarest raptors?
Whether a Common Quail migrates or not is determined by its genes © BirdLife Europe

This shy bird can escape a birdwatcher’s eye, but...

Thu, 21/03/2019
Despite its attempts to live a secretive life, the migration route of the endearingly rotund Common Quail leaves it subject to illegal trapping. Action is needed - with your help we can halt their decline and protect many other bird species at the same time.
Eurasian Blackcaps are illegally lured towards traps using recordings of their song © BirdLife Europe

Netted, glued and eaten whole – can we keep this...

Tue, 19/03/2019
The Eurasian Blackcap’s beautiful song has inspired humanity for centuries. But in Cyprus today, it is silenced by industrial-level illegal trapping using invisible nets or glue sticks: all to fuel an unlawful trade in local delicacies, run by organised criminals. Could education be the solution?
The Egyptian Vulture was once nicknamed the "Pharaoh's Chicken" © BirdLife Europe

World’s only tool-using vulture risks being lost...

Thu, 28/02/2019
Hailed for its intelligence and majesty, the Egyptian Vulture was admired and worshipped throughout history. But decimated by poisoning, electrocution and illegal trophy hunting, the bird that was once an Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph is now Endangered. Can we save it before it’s too late?
The White Stork nests rooftops and has become an iconic part of human life © BirdLife Europe

Bird that solved migration mystery now illegally...

Tue, 26/02/2019
The White Stork, known in folklore as the bringer of babies to new parents, played a fascinating role in the discovery of bird migration. But now its migration is plagued by illegal killing. BirdLife Partners along its route are working hard to prevent this – and you can help.