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Why bother about birds? State of the World’s Birds www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People.

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Presentation on theme: "Why bother about birds? State of the World’s Birds www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Why bother about birds? State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June “The status of the world’s birds is declining” 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.

3 Birds help us understand the natural world State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June “Birds are excellent indicators and a popular window on the 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.

4 The status of the world’s birds is deteriorating “The UN now uses BirdLife’s Red List Index to monitor sustainability” State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June Birds are declining, but some groups such as seabirds are declining faster than others.

5 More and more bird species are at risk of extinction “One in eight [bird] species are threatened with extinction” State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June bird species are classified as Critically Endangered, the highest threat level.

6 A range of threats is driving declines in globally threatened birds “Current agricultural practices are the greatest threat to bird species” State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June

7 Many bird species, including common ones, are declining “Many governments now use common bird trends to track environmental sustainability” State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June 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.

8 Some sites are very important for birds and wildlife State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June “BirdLife has identified more than 12,000 IBAs on land and at sea” We know where the most important nature sites are. We call these Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas – IBAs for short.

9 IBAs guide protection in the marine realm “Marine IBAs have been instrumental in identifying Protected Areas in the oceans” State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June IBAs affect how we manage marine resources such as fish stocks

10 Many IBAs are in an unfavourable state— “IBAs in Danger” “IBA monitoring by BirdLife Partners has helped identify IBAs in Danger” State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June The BirdLife Partnership identified over 300 IBAs worldwide that need effective protection and management.

11 What will it cost to save nature and protect it? State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June 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”

12 Investing in conservation is essential… and affordable State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June “This expense is an investment not a bill. The alternative will be far more costly”

13 Effective conservation is affordable and it works “BirdLife Partners have taken action for over 537 threatened species (40%), since 2008” State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June

14 Threatened species can be saved “Over ten years, action by BirdLife Partners and others prevented the extinction of 16 bird species” State of the World’s Birds BirdLife International World Congress Partnerships for Nature and People Ottawa Canada June Habitat restoration and the removal of invasive plant species by 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

15 BirdLife Australia State of Australia’s birds Samantha Vine Head of Conservation

16 State of Australia’s Birds – the bad news We’ve lost 2% of our avifauna –27 taxa are listed as Extinct 20 birds are Critically Endangered 60 Endangered, 68 Vulnerable, 63 are Near Threatened Things 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.

17 State 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

18 Bird Conservation in Australia BirdLife Australia plays a key role in threatened species conservation, through monitoring and assessment of the status of Australian birds, developing and lobbying government for funds to implement bird recovery programs facilitating effective community & individual efforts for threatened species recovery … and lots more.

19 The Hooded Plover Australia’s most threatened beach-nesting bird BirdLife Australia project: monitoring and protection of the Hooded Plover The chance of successfully raising chicks has improved from 2% to 55% 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. Photo: Glenn Ehmke

20 Plains Wanderer protection in Australia’s farming country Acquisition 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. Small grassland bird, distributed sparsely throughout eastern Australia 1980’s : discovery of its decline, due to intensification of agriculture & grazing practices

21 Glossy Black cockatoo (Kangaroo Island) Nest sites protected with corrugated iron “collars” to stop possums climbing trees Cockatoo population more than doubled in the past 15 years Down-listing possible by 2020 Reduced from a population of many thousands, to only 150 on one island Research in the 1990’s identified Brush-tailed possums taking eggs & chicks from nests Photo:

22 Citizen Science: Working Together to Assess the State of Canada’s Birds Dick Cannings Senior Project Biologist, Bird Studies Canada

23 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. Canada’s first comprehensive report on the health of bird populations What can changes in bird populations tell us about our environment? How is human activity affecting bird populations? Report Overview

24 Changes in Canada’s Birds On average Canadian bird populations have declined by 12%  Some groups of species doing well (33% of species)  Other groups of species declining (44% of species) 70 species at some risk of extirpation

25  Raptors (hawks, eagles, falcons) – 70% average increase – Populations of many species had crashed by the 1960s, largely as a result of pesticides such as DDT – Banning of DDT has allowed many species to recover – and made the environment healthier for people Birds of Prey are recovering Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon

26  Waterfowl (ducks, geese, swans) – 45% average increase since 1970 – Reflects success of conservation and management actions from governments, environmental organizations, private landowners, and hunters – Effective regulation of hunting began in 1917, spurred on by dramatic declines in populations of many species owing to intense levels of commercial exploitation – Investment in wetland habitat conservation has been key since then Waterfowl are doing well

27  Aerial Insectivores (birds that catch insects in flight, such as swallows, swifts, and flycatchers) – 64% decline – Causes uncertain: changes in insect populations? loss of habitat? climate change? Barn Swallow Common NighthawkOlive-sided Flycatcher Aerial Insectivores in decline

28 Grassland birds in trouble  Grassland birds – 45% decline – Some species have declined more than 90% – Loss of breeding and winter habitat Conversion of native grassland Agricultural intensification – replacing pasture with grain Eastern Meadowlark BobolinkMcCown’s Longspur

29 Disappearing shorebirds  Shorebirds (sandpipers, plovers)  42% decline overall  Largest declines for Arctic-nesting species (>60%)  Amazing migrations  Dependency on stop-over sites  Susceptibility to disturbance  Unknown contribution of climate change Panama Bay Whimbrel

30 Migrant Decline USA  5% Central America and Caribbean  15% South America  60% Year-round Residents Increase Canada (year-round residents)  50% Olive-sided Flycatcher Migrate farther = Worse off Olive-sided FlycatcherArctic TernWood Thrush

31 We know the priorities for conservation research and action We know the solutions: – Investment in Partnerships – Protect Important Bird Areas – Flyways approach for key species – Respect and support traditional economies – Focus research where needed – Apply precautionary principle So... Let’s do it! A path forward


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