23 Feb 2016

Birdfair breaks fundraising record in a bid to help migratory birds

White Stork shot in Malta (image: BirdLife Malta)

Migratory birds have been handed a welcome boost by fundraising efforts from Birdfair 2015 after a cheque of £320,000 was today handed over to BirdLife International to help vulnerable migratory birds in the Eastern Mediterranean

Birdfair Co-Organiser, Tim Appleton, said: 

“I’m delighted that Birdfair 2015 has smashed the previous year’s fundraising record. A lot of hard work from organisers, volunteers, sponsors and attendee’s goes into this event, and we are proud to raise an enormous amount of money to support BirdLife Internationals work in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“The funds from the this year’s fair will be used to help BirdLife’s work on migratory birds, to prevent the illegal killing in the East Mediterranean", said Patricia Zurita, BirdLife International's CEO. "Bringing the death toll down from 25 million to 0 is a big challenge, but only with strong partnerships like the one BirdLife has with the BirdFair we can make it more possible”. 

  • Hundreds of millions of migratory birds make their journey between Europe and Africa each year.
  • BirdLife International report shows that 25 million migratory birds illegally killed each year
  • More than 25 birds using flyway between Europe and Africa under threat of global extinction

The Eastern Mediterranean is used by hundreds of millions of migratory birds twice yearly on their migration between Europe and Africa, each spring and autumn. These birds face many threats on their epic journey including illegal killing, with a recent BirdLife International report revealing 25 million migratory birds are illegally killed each year.

Bringing the death toll down from 25 million to 0 is a big challenge image © Newton Maxwell-Harris/The Creative Mix’

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

The money raised will go towards a project aimed at reducing the scale and impact of illegal killing of migratory birds, and to improve protection and laws throughout the region.  

“Birdfair will continue to support many more important conservation projects in the future and we’re delighted that in 2016 we will be raising funds to help save Important Bird Areas in Africa”,  Tim Appleton  explained.

"The success of the Birdfair shows that people really care about nature both in the UK and also abroad”, said Patrica Zurita.

"BirdLife International is deeply grateful to the Birdfair organisers.  Your support over the last 25 years has helped us strengthen our conservation results and your partnership through the last 25 years has meant we are able to improve the way we deliver safer habitats for birds, nature and people.”

Over the next three years, Birdfair will support BirdLife International’s project focusing on the world’s most endangered Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), and this year’s emphasis will be on saving IBAs in Africa. More than 12,000 IBAs have been identified to date and collectively they represent the largest global network of important sites for wildlife.   

Declines in Eurasian Golden Oriole populations could be due to illegal killing in the Eastern Mediterranean

The British Birdwatching Fair is jointly organised by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust and the RSPB.

Birdfair encompasses the whole spectrum of the birdwatching industry whilst at the same time supporting global bird conservation. This year's event  will be held at Rutland Water from 19-21 August.


BirdLife has been campaigning across Europe to halt illegal bird killing (image A. Long)