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Threatened Species

A mighty predator made helpless at the hands of humans

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?   By Cressida Stevens The Eastern Imperial Eagle is one of seven flagship birds in our Flight for Survival campaign to raise …

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Hotspots of exploitation: where are species under greatest threat?

A new paper pinpoints global hotspots for unsustainable commercial harvesting of species to prioritise efforts tackling one of the greatest threats to nature. By Margaret Sessa-Hawkins By now, almost everyone knows that many rhinoceros species around the world are threatened with extinction because of commercial overexploitation for their horns, which are sold on the black market. Likewise, all pangolin species …

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New population of Blue-eyed Ground-doves discovered

Four new doves have been discovered, increasing the population of the Critically Endangered bird by 26 percent.   By Margaret Sessa-Hawkins In February 2019, staff at SAVE Brasil (BirdLife Partner) began hearing exciting reports from members of the communities surrounding Botumirim State Park in the state of Minas Gerais. There had been sightings, multiple people reported, of Blue-eyed Ground-doves Columbina cyanopis (Critically Endangered), outside of …

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This shy bird can escape a birdwatcher’s eye, but not illegal trappers’ nets

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. By Cressida Stevens The Common Quail is one of seven flagship birds in our Flight for …

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Netted, glued and eaten whole – can we keep this songbird free?

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?   By Jessica Law The Eurasian Blackcap is one of seven flagship birds in our Flight …

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The semi-desert area of Ras Baalbek … A hidden Gem

By Fouad Itani The semi-desert area of Ras Baalbek in the northern Bekaa region is a barren area where little precipitation occurs and consequently living conditions there are hostile to both fauna and flora. What makes this area special is a wide selection of biome-restricted species rarely found elsewhere in Lebanon. This attracts few birdwatchers but also, unfortunately, unethical hunters and poachers.     …

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Spix’s Macaw and Glaucous Macaw among first bird extinctions set to be announced this decade

A new assessment of the world’s rarest birds recommends that eight species should be added to the list of confirmed or suspected extinctions. These include the Spix’s Macaw (famously the main character “Blu” in the 2011 children’s film Rio), the Glaucous Macaw and Pernambuco Pygmy-owl. The assessment reviews 51 Critically Endangered species, three of which should now be re-classified as Extinct, while another, the Spix’s Macaw, should …

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An international plan to save the Helmeted Hornbill

Illegal hunting and trade has brought this unique hornbill to the brink. But an new ten-year, range-wide conservation plan will ensure the Helmeted Hornbill has a future outside of China’s markets   By Margaret Sessa-Hawkins Conservation organizations from across the world have developed an ambitious ten-year plan to save a Critically Endangered bird that has been driven to the brink of extinction by …

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State of the World’s Sea Turtles (SWOT)

SWOT — the State of the World’s Sea Turtles — is a partnership led by the Marine Species Flagship Program at the Oceanic Society and the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group, and supported by the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab (MGEL) at Duke University. Since 2008, MGEL has led the collection and management of sea turtle nesting data, in collaboration with the Marine Species …

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The top five threats to birds may surprise you

The top five threats to birds may surprise you One in eight bird species is in danger of extinction – but what are the main factors driving their decline? They might not be what you think. Read about the five biggest threats to bird biodiversity, and what’s being done to combat them. By Margaret Sessa-Hawkins Sometimes it’s easy to see …

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