Stop Illegal Bird Trade with the Global Bird Weekend
Help end the threat posed by Asia’s wild bird trade – to both nature and our health
The COVID-19 pandemic is a terrible but timely reminder that human health is tightly interlinked with the fate of wild animals trapped and sold in trade markets around the world. With your help we can bring an end to illegal and unsustainable wild bird trade practices in Asia, where we are currently working. We have the science, the expertise and the local knowledge. We now need your help to scale up our work and end wild bird trade once and for all.
We doubled your donation
Thanks to BirdLife's passionate anonymous supporters, we were able to make your contribution go even further. Our donors agreed to provide match-funding for the first £55,000 raised – this means your donations were DOUBLED, to deliver twice the impact!
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Wildlife trafficking is huge business – with links to organised crime.
The shocking scale of the wild bird trade is a tragedy for nature. Organised poaching networks are emptying Asia’s forests of their parrots and songbirds – where they will be transported, often in appalling conditions, to markets across the region.
A large proportion of the hundreds of millions of caged birds across Asia have been plucked from the wild. This unsustainable demand is fuelling an overexploitation crisis across the region, and left dozens of species - from songbirds to cockatoos – on the edge of extinction. On the island of Java it is now thought there are more songbirds in cages than in forests.
And these are just the ‘lucky’ ones. Other species, such as the Helmeted Hornbill, are shot on sight to feed demand for their casque (their striking bill) so they can be turned into ornamental trinkets.
A global issue that affects us all.
But as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic shows, the impact of diseases likely originating from wildlife trade can devastate livelihoods and economies worldwide. With an estimated 75% of new and emerging diseases being transmitted from animals to humans (according to the UN Environment Programme), poorly regulated markets are another public health disaster waiting to happen. SARS and COVID-19 are both thought to have originated from wildlife trade, and new strains of avian flu are a constant concern.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a terrible but timely reminder that wildlife trade needs to be brought under strict control and remain so. We have the science, expertise and local knowledge to do so – but need your help to scale up our work.
Will you help us?
At BirdLife International, our vision is of a world where nature and people live in harmony.
We take a literal ‘bird’s eye view’ of the planet; through the insight we gain from studying birds, we can identify emerging trends that threaten our planet’s balance and mobilise action while there is still time.
Even before COVID-19, tackling wildlife trade was a global priority. We are already undertaking numerous initiatives to help bring an end to illegal, unregulated or unsustainable trade in birds, including:
Determining the scope and scale of the trade
Our world-class science team is undertaking a situation analysis to identify global priorities – allowing us to channel conservation resources towards areas we can have the most impact.
Re-balancing our relationship with nature
Our resilience to future pandemics will depend on us changing the way we interact with nature. We are campaigning at the highest levels to make a healthy natural environment a human right – and working with governments to shape the goals and targets they need to hit to save the natural world we depend on.
Action where it is needed most
We work where needs are most urgent and action most effective; from the forests and other habitats where the wild birds live and are trapped or hunted, to the transit routes, to the centres of demand.
Whether it’s establishing and guarding safe havens for the Helmeted Hornbill, helping parrot-trappers to establish alternative, sustainable ways of making a living, or supporting authorities to enforce laws, we invest in long-term, sustainable solutions that factor in the needs of both nature and local people.