Presentation on theme: "Why bother about birds? Bird numbers are declining around the globe, and getting worse. Luckily, we know it costs relatively little to save and protect."— Presentation transcript:
2Why bother about birds?Bird numbers are declining around the globe, and getting worse.Luckily, we know it costs relatively little to save and protect nature, and we know it can be done. In the future, the costs will be far greater.Bird conservation is affordable… and it works.“The status of the world’s birds is declining”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
3Birds help us understand the natural world We know more about birds than any other animal group. Their decline reflects a deteriorating global environment, affecting all life – including people.Birds are an accurate and easy-to-read environmental barometer that lets us see the pressures we put on the world’s biodiversity.The map shows the density of bird species across the world“Birds are excellent indicators and a popular window on the world”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
4The status of the world’s birds is deteriorating Cue example of Tristan Albatross“The UN now uses BirdLife’s Red List Index to monitor sustainability”Birds are declining, but some groups such as seabirds are declining faster than others.BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
5More and more bird species are at risk of extinction Example of CR species, Philippine Eagle – threats it faces“One in eight [bird] species are threatened with extinction”197 bird species are classified as Critically Endangered, the highest threat level.BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
6A range of threats is driving declines in globally threatened birds The two biggest threats are agriculture and logging, example here of deforestation in Sumatra, Indonesia for palm oil“Current agricultural practices are the greatest threat to bird species”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
7Many bird species, including common ones, are declining In Europe, data over 30 years shows that common birds are also in decline.Some groups – such as those found on farmland – are declining faster than others.European Turtle-dove example as a species at threat throughout its annual life cycle/“Many governments now use common bird trends to track environmental sustainability”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
8Some sites are very important for birds and wildlife We know where the most important nature sites are. We call these Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas – IBAs for short.“BirdLife has identified more than 12,000 IBAs on land and at sea”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
9IBAs guide protection in the marine realm IBAs affect how we manage marine resources such as fish stocks“Marine IBAs have been instrumental in identifying Protected Areas in the oceans”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
10Many IBAs are in an unfavourable state— “IBAs in Danger” The BirdLife Partnership identified over 300 IBAs worldwide that need effective protection and management.“IBA monitoring by BirdLife Partners has helped identify IBAs in Danger”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
11What will it cost to save nature and protect it? How much will it cost:To save all threatened species from extinction?To protect and manage Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas?“BirdLife data show that US$80 billion per year is needed for global nature protection”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
12Investing in conservation is essential… and affordable The key figure is the comparison to the annual figure on soft drinks spending!“This expense is an investment not a bill.The alternative will be far more costly”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
13Effective conservation is affordable and it works North American example of Californian Condor“BirdLife Partners have taken action for over 537 threatened species (40%), since 2008”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
14Threatened species can be saved Habitat restoration and the removal of invasive plant speciesby the BirdLife Partner in Portugal has helped save the Azores Bullfinch from extinction.In Brazil, the BirdLife Partner and others have successfully lobbied for a new state park to safeguard the future of the Restinga Antwren“Over ten years, action by BirdLife Partners and others prevented the extinction of 16 bird species”BirdLife International World CongressPartnerships for Nature and PeopleOttawa CanadaJuneState of the World’s Birds
15State of Australia’s birds Samantha Vine Head of Conservation BirdLife Australia
16State of Australia’s Birds – the bad news We’ve lost 2% of our avifauna –27 taxa are listed as Extinct20 birds are Critically Endangered60 Endangered, 68 Vulnerable, 63 are Near ThreatenedThings are getting worse. The last assessment (2010) showed that 39 taxa have been uplisted to a more threatened category because they are faring worse than they were a decade ago.This includes four taxa that are new to the Critically Endangered category.
17State of Australia’s Birds – some good news Despite escalating threats we’ve been successful at recovering threatened species where adequate funding and effort has been applied.Conservation works! And it is affordable.Even for our most imperilled Critically Endangered species we estimate imminent extinction could be prevented for an average Au$380,000 per species.In a report released last month we estimate the cost of managing the 396 birds most at risk from new and existing threats including climate change at Au $18.8 million per year – Au$47,700 per year for each taxon
18Bird Conservation in Australia BirdLife Australia plays a key role in threatened species conservation, throughmonitoring and assessment of the status of Australian birds,developing and lobbying government for funds to implement bird recovery programsfacilitating effective community & individual efforts for threatened species recovery … and lots more.Australia would have lost many more bird species had it not been for:the concerted efforts of organisations and individuals to save birds andfunding provided for threatened species recovery, mostly from the Commonwealth.Australia has been remarkably effective at conserving threatened bird species in the 20 years since dedicated funding has been provided.BirdLife Australia has played a major role in threatened species conservation throughout its 110 year history. Representations by BirdLife Australia were instrumental in persuading the federal government to set up dedicated threatened species funding in the 1980s and its members have played important roles in ongoing conservation programswe have several examples of good news stories, where birds have greatly recovered after research and intervention. I’ll just touch on 3 of these examples today, but please contact me after if you’d like details of some more cases we have documented.
19The Hooded Plover Australia’s most threatened beach-nesting bird Hooded Plovers love sandy beaches with big swells & sandunes‘Hoodies’ are threatened by people, their dogs & 4WDs. They are very sensitive to disturbance & will leave their eggs unattended.BirdLife Australia project: monitoring and protection of the Hooded PloverThe chance of successfully raising chicks has improved from 2% to 55%Hooded Plovers love sandy beaches with big swells & sandunes: also the most popular beaches for people!Hooded Plover (eastern): a small beach-nesting shorebird distributed from southern NSW around Victoria to the Eyre Peninsula and around Tasmania.Monitoring identified rapid declines in many locations due to high recreational beach use.Research showed that nests of this species and their contents were destroyed by vehicles and unconstrained pet dogs or by predators due to parents being disturbed by people.BirdLife Australia coordinates volunteer monitoring and protection of breeding birds through fencing, shelters, signage & community educationIn most areas, their chance of survival has increased significantly.Loss of funding faced, as the project doesn’t fit with CFOC and NHT prioritiesPhoto: Glenn Ehmke
20Plains Wanderer protection in Australia’s farming country Small grassland bird, distributed sparsely throughout eastern Australia1980’s : discovery of its decline, due to intensification of agriculture & grazing practicesAcquisition of agricultural land for plains wanderer habitat has greatly helped the species.Some management changes have also been applied to agricultural properties, with less success.These efforts are greatly helping the survival of the species.David Baker Gabb did extensive research in the 1980’s and discovered its decline, which was due to habitat loss/modification.Land acquisition in Victoria, NSW and Qld to protect plains wanderer habitat, using Commonwealth funds.Increased awareness of grassland conservation value and significant species has greatly contributed towards improved conservation effort and interest in eastern Australia.
21Glossy Black cockatoo (Kangaroo Island) Reduced from a population of many thousands, to only 150 on one islandResearch in the 1990’s identified Brush-tailed possums taking eggs & chicks from nestsNest sites protected with corrugated iron “collars” to stop possums climbing treesCockatoo population more than doubled in the past 15 yearsDown-listing possible by 2020The Cockatoos originally extended from western Victoria, to the Mt Lofty Ranges in South Australia, then reduced down to Kangaroo Island only.Research was by Lyn Pedler and others from the SA parks service using Commonwealth funds.Nest sites were found, and then protected by iron collars to stop possums climbing trees, also tree tops were trimmed to reduce possum activityOngoing protection of nests and monitoring will be needed indefinatelyHowever the great news is that downlisting from Endangered to Vulnerable could be possible by 2020Photo:
22Citizen Science: Working Together to Assess the State of Canada’s Birds Dick CanningsSenior Project Biologist,Bird Studies Canada
23Report Overview www.stateofcanadasbirds.org Canada’s first comprehensive report on the health of bird populationsWhat can changes in bird populations tell us about our environment?How is human activity affecting bird populations?The State of Canada’s Birds 2012 was prepared by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) Canada – a collaboration of government and non-governmental organizations. It highlights the need for urgent action for bird conservation.
24Changes in Canada’s Birds Some groups of species doing well (33% of species)On average Canadian bird populations have declined by 12% Other groups of species declining (44% of species)70 species at some risk of extirpation
25Birds of Prey are recovering Raptors (hawks, eagles, falcons)70% average increasePopulations of many species had crashed by the 1960s, largely as a result of pesticides such as DDTBanning of DDT has allowed many species to recover – and made the environment healthier for peoplePeregrine FalconBald Eagle25
26Waterfowl are doing well Waterfowl (ducks, geese, swans)– 45% average increase since 1970Reflects success of conservation and management actions from governments, environmental organizations, private landowners, and huntersEffective regulation of hunting began in 1917, spurred on by dramatic declines in populations of many species owing to intense levels of commercial exploitationInvestment in wetland habitat conservation has been key since then
27Aerial Insectivores in decline Aerial Insectivores (birds that catch insects in flight, such as swallows, swifts, and flycatchers)– 64% declineCauses uncertain:changes in insect populations?loss of habitat?climate change?JMBarn SwallowCommon NighthawkOlive-sided Flycatcher
28Grassland birds in trouble Grassland birds – 45% declineSome species have declined more than 90%Loss of breeding and winter habitatConversion of native grasslandAgricultural intensification – replacing pasture with grainEastern MeadowlarkBobolinkMcCown’s Longspur28
29Disappearing shorebirds Shorebirds (sandpipers, plovers)42% decline overallLargest declines for Arctic-nesting species (>60%)Amazing migrationsDependency on stop-over sitesSusceptibility to disturbanceUnknown contribution of climate changePanama BayWhimbrel29
31A path forwardWe know the priorities for conservation research and actionWe know the solutions:Investment in PartnershipsProtect Important Bird AreasFlyways approach for key speciesRespect and support traditional economiesFocus research where neededApply precautionary principleSo Let’s do it!31