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The IUCN Red List, the most comprehensive, objective global record of the conservation status of plant and animal species. As the Red List Authority for birds, we’re pleased to see several positive stories for birds, such as the Pink Pigeon, which has been ‘downlisted’ from Endangered to Vulnerable, as their populations recover thanks to the conservation efforts including work from BirdLife Partners. More positive news comes from Morocco, where the population of Northern Bald Ibis has recovered sufficiently to be reclassified from Critically Endangered (the highest threat category) to Endangered following a succession of successful breeding seasons.
Sadly it’s not all good news.
In Southeast Asia, for example, seven hornbill species have been 'uplisted' to higher threat categories, largely due to deforestation. Hunting is an additional threat: larger species, such as the Great Hornbill and the Rhinoceros Hornbill, are often shot when mistaken for the Helmeted Hornbill (already Critically Endangered since 2015), whose unique solid red casque is highly desired on the black market.
The songbird trade is also having a profound impact on Southeast Asia’s birds. Birdsong competitions, which offer large monetary prizes, have led to the trapping of many species, including the Straw-headed Bulbul , which this year has been 'uplisted' from Endangered to Critically Endangered. Additionally, deforestation has made it easier for trappers to reach birds due to the proliferation of logging roads and the lack of dense forest available as a safe refuge.
But BirdLife won’t stop working to try to turn these statistics around. You can help us create more positive stories for birds like the Northern Bald Ibis.
The Red List is so much more than just a list. It is a tool used by conservationists worldwide, underpinning much of BirdLife’s work, from identifying key sites to conserving seabirds and migratory species. Your contribution will allow us to scale up our work to research and protect threatened species around the globe, providing a brighter future for birds, other nature and local people.