BirdLife International

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BirdLife International
FormationJune 20, 1922;100 years ago (1922-06-20)
Headquarters Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Cambridge, United Kingdom
Region served
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias
Chief Executive
Patricia Zurita
Formerly called
International Council for Bird Preservation

BirdLife International is a global partnership of non-governmental organizations that strives to conserve birds and their habitats. [1] BirdLife International's priorities include preventing extinction of bird species, identifying and safeguarding important sites for birds, maintaining and restoring key bird habitats, and empowering conservationists worldwide.


It has a membership of more than 2.5 million people across 116 country partner organizations, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Wild Bird Society of Japan, the National Audubon Society and American Bird Conservancy. [2]

BirdLife International has identified 13,000 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas and is the official International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List authority for birds. [3] [4] As of 2015, BirdLife International has established that 1,375 bird species (13% of the total) are threatened with extinction (critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable). [5]

BirdLife International publishes a quarterly magazine, BirdLife: The Magazine, which contains recent news and authoritative articles about birds and their conservation. [6] [7]


A warden with a ICBP mark on his uniform on La Digue, Seychelles in the 1970s ICBP warden La Digue Seychelles 1970s.jpg
A warden with a ICBP mark on his uniform on La Digue, Seychelles in the 1970s

BirdLife International was founded in 1922 as the International Council for Bird Protection by American ornithologists T. Gilbert Pearson and Jean Theodore Delacour. The group was renamed International Committee for Bird Preservation in 1928, International Council for Bird Preservation in 1960, and BirdLife International in 1993. [8] [9]

Global programmes

BirdLife International has nine conservation programmes implemented across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific. [10] The programmes provide the framework for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating conservation work and include the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas Programme, [11] Marine Programme, [12] Preventing Extinctions Programme, [13] [14] and Flyways Programme. [15]


Rename of Wild Bird Federation Taiwan

In 2008, the English name of Wild Bird Federation Taiwan was renamed to Chinese Wild Bird Federation in order to comply with BirdLife International's demand, stemming from People's Republic of China's pressure. [16] Following the organization's removal from BirdLife International in 2020, the English name was changed to Taiwan Wild Bird Federation (TWBF). [17] [18]

Removal of Taiwan's Chinese Wild Bird Federation

In December 2019, BirdLife International asked Taiwan's then named Chinese Wild Bird Federation (CWBF), to address the following issues or risk removal from its partnership program: [19]

  1. The organization's Chinese name (Chinese :中華民國野鳥學會lit.'Republic of China Wild Bird Federation') poses an operational risk for BirdLife International and should be changed.
  2. CWBF was to sign a document formally committing to not promote or advocate for the legitimacy of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
  3. BirdLife International would no longer participate in or allow its logo to be associated with any event related to or funded, in part or in whole, by the Taiwanese government or its agencies.
  4. BirdLife International would no longer allow its name or logo to be used in any document where the Taiwanese flag, symbols, or emblems were displayed.

However, BirdLife International stated that even if CWBF were to address all of its demands, it may still be removed from BirdLife International's partnership program. On 7 September 2020, before CWBF had the opportunity to discuss BirdLife International's demands in its General Assembly meeting, BirdLife International Global Council voted to remove CWBF from its partnership program. [20] [21]

BirdLife International CEO Patricia Zurita subsequently issued what Reuters described as a "gag order", directing her staff to not comment publicly on the "sadly public statement" from CWBF. "If you receive any queries regarding this matter, please DO NOT offer comment and instead refer the matter to me directly," Zurita wrote. [22]

Correspondence between CWBF and BirdLife International was released by CWBF on 19 September 2020 to demonstrate that CWBF had been negotiating in good faith prior to its removal, and was willing to discuss the name change. [17] [23]

Related Research Articles

This is an index of conservation topics. It is an alphabetical index of articles relating to conservation biology and conservation of the natural environment.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">IUCN Red List</span> Inventory of the global conservation status of biological species

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data Book, founded in 1964, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. It uses a set of precise criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world. With its strong scientific base, the IUCN Red List is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity. A series of Regional Red Lists are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Threatened species</span> IUCN conservation category

Threatened species are any species which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future. Species that are threatened are sometimes characterised by the population dynamics measure of critical depensation, a mathematical measure of biomass related to population growth rate. This quantitative metric is one method of evaluating the degree of endangerment.

A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region with significant levels of biodiversity that is threatened by human habitation.

Black-eared miner Species of bird

The black-eared miner is an endangered honeyeater endemic to mallee woodland in south-eastern Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Important Bird Area</span> Area recognized as a habitat for bird population conservation

An Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) is an area identified using an internationally agreed set of criteria as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wildlife conservation</span> Practice of protecting wild plant and animal species and their habitats

Wildlife conservation refers to the practice of protecting wild species and their habitats in order to maintain healthy wildlife species or populations and to restore, protect or enhance natural ecosystems. Major threats to wildlife include habitat destruction, degradation, fragmentation, overexploitation, poaching, pollution and climate change. The IUCN estimates that 27,000 species of the ones assessed are at risk for extinction. Expanding to all existing species, a 2019 UN report on biodiversity put this estimate even higher at a million species. It is also being acknowledged that an increasing number of ecosystems on Earth containing endangered species are disappearing. To address these issues, there have been both national and international governmental efforts to preserve Earth's wildlife. Prominent conservation agreements include the 1973 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). There are also numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGO's) dedicated to conservation such as the Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, the Wild Animal Health Fund and Conservation International.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Conservation status</span> Indication of the chance of a species extinction, regardless of authority used

The conservation status of a group of organisms indicates whether the group still exists and how likely the group is to become extinct in the near future. Many factors are taken into account when assessing conservation status: not simply the number of individuals remaining, but the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, and known threats. Various systems of conservation status exist and are in use at international, multi-country, national and local levels as well as for consumer use.

Spoon-billed sandpiper Species of bird

The spoon-billed sandpiper is a small wader which breeds on the coasts of the Bering Sea and winters in Southeast Asia. This species is highly threatened, and it is said that since the 1970s the breeding population has decreased significantly. By 2000, the estimated breeding population of the species was 350–500.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bird reserve</span>

A bird reserve is a wildlife refuge designed to protect bird species. Like other wildlife refuges, the main goal of a reserve is to prevent species from becoming endangered or extinct. Typically, bird species in a reserve are protected from hunting and habitat destruction. Because of the protection they provide from such threats, bird reserves also serve as excellent locations for bird watching. Normally, wildlife refuges are under the care of non-profit organizations and governmental institutions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crested ibis</span> Species of bird

The crested ibis, also known as the Japanese crested ibis, Asian crested ibis or toki, is a large, white-plumaged ibis of pine forests, native to eastern Asia. Its head is partially bare, showing red skin, and it has a dense crest of white plumes on the nape. It is the only member of the genus Nipponia.

Critically Endangered IUCN conservation category

An IUCN Red List Critically Endangered (CR) species is one that has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. As of 2021, of the 120,372 species currently tracked by the IUCN, there are 8,404 species that are considered to be Critically Endangered.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chinese pangolin</span> Species of mammal

The Chinese pangolin is a pangolin native to the northern Indian subcontinent, northern parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. It has been listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2014, as the wild population is estimated to have declined by more than 80% in three pangolin generations, equal to 21 years. It is threatened by poaching for the illegal wildlife trade.

Eastern bristlebird Species of bird

The eastern bristlebird is a species of bird in the bristlebird family, Dasyornithidae. It is endemic to Australia. Its natural habitats are temperate forests, temperate shrubland, and temperate grassland. It is threatened by habitat loss.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Global biodiversity</span> Total variability of Earths life forms

Global biodiversity is the measure of biodiversity on planet Earth and is defined as the total variability of life forms. More than 99 percent of all species that ever lived on Earth are estimated to be extinct. Estimates on the number of Earth's current species range from 2 million to 1 trillion, of which about 1.74 million have been databased thus far and over 80 percent have not yet been described. More recently, in May 2016, scientists reported that 1 trillion species are estimated to be on Earth currently with only one-thousandth of one percent described. The total amount of DNA base pairs on Earth, as a possible approximation of global biodiversity, is estimated at 5.0 x 1037, and weighs 50 billion tonnes. In comparison, the total mass of the biosphere has been estimated to be as much as 4 TtC (trillion tons of carbon).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Endangered species</span> Species of organisms facing a very high risk of extinction

An endangered species is a species that is very likely to become extinct in the near future, either worldwide or in a particular political jurisdiction. Endangered species may be at risk due to factors such as habitat loss, poaching and invasive species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List lists the global conservation status of many species, and various other agencies assess the status of species within particular areas. Many nations have laws that protect conservation-reliant species which, for example, forbid hunting, restrict land development, or create protected areas. Some endangered species are the target of extensive conservation efforts such as captive breeding and habitat restoration.

Wildlife smuggling Illegal gathering, transport and distribution of wild animals

Wildlife smuggling or trafficking involves the illegal gathering, transportation, and distribution of animals and their derivatives. This can be done either internationally or domestically. Estimates of the money generated by wildlife smuggling vary, in part because of its illegal nature. "Wildlife smuggling is estimated at $7.8bn to $10bn a year, according to the U.S. State Department. The U.S. State Department also lists wildlife trafficking as the third most valuable illicit commerce in the world." The illegal nature of such activities makes determining the amount of money involved incredibly difficult. When considered with illegal timber and fisheries, wildlife trafficking is a major illegal trade along with narcotics, human trafficking, and counterfeit products.

Turtle Conservancy

The Turtle Conservancy (TC) is a 501(c)3 organization with a focus on protecting threatened turtles and tortoises and their habitats worldwide working toward improving turtle and tortoise populations in the wild. The TC is a conservation organization protecting tortoises and freshwater turtles with work in five areas: species conservation, protection of wild lands, research science, global awareness and education, and illegal trade prevention.

An out-of-danger species is an animal or plant species formerly categorized as Rare, Vulnerable, or Endangered that has since been removed from these lists because the species' survival has been relatively secured, e.g. ginkgo biloba. Often known as a "delisted species," these animals have been moved out of the Rare, Vulnerable, or Endangered categories through conservation efforts and government policymaking to ensure their survival and population growth. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) established it's list of endangered species in 1964, subsequently becoming a global authority on wildlife conservation. The following year, the United States created the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to act as a federal authority on endangered species. Currently, both international and domestic organizations implement recovery efforts and track species' population growth, delisting when necessary. Removing a species from the endangered species list is generally a slow process; most organizations and governments require long periods of observation both before and after delisting. There have been numerous efforts to delist endangered species, with both international and country-wide recovery plans being regularly implemented. These programs have led to the recovery of dozens of species, but their overall effectiveness remains contested. In America, the ban of the chemical DDT in 1972 contributed to several bird species' recovery and removal from the endangered species list.

Taiwan Wild Bird Federation Taiwanese bird conservation organization

Taiwan Wild Bird Federation or TWBF is Taiwan's largest bird conservation organization and represents 21 groups throughout Taiwan and its outlying islands.


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  10. "Regions". BirdLife International. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
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  15. "What Saudi Arabia, neighbors are doing to protect bird migratory routes in the Middle East". Arab News. 11 May 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
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  17. 1 2 TWBF Secretariat (19 September 2020). "Statement on Taiwan Wild Bird Federation Name Change and Clarifications on Removal from BirdLife International". Taiwan Wild Bird Federation. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  18. "British charity flagged separatism concerns in Taiwan-China bird flap". Reuters. 25 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  19. CWBF Secretariat (15 September 2020). "Statement on the Removal of the Chinese Wild Bird Federation from BirdLife International". Chinese Wild Bird Federation. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  20. "China's micro-agressions against Taiwan have reached the world of birding". Quartz. 15 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  21. "Taiwan conservationists say kicked out of global bird group in China row". Reuters. 15 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  22. "British bird group issues gag order over Taiwan-China issue". Reuters. 18 September 2020. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  23. "Hawk or dove? Birdwatching world's feathers ruffled over Taiwan independence". The Guardian. 25 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.