World Bird Watch Magazine 2014
Species are our currency. Their rarity, their declines and their distribution inform and instruct the work of the BirdLife Partnership. The data they provide tell us about many things—from the effects of climate change to the unsustainable use of marine resources; from the results of illegal hunting to agricultural intensification Not surprisingly, we are often asked at BirdLife how much it costs to save a species from extinction. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules; it depends on the species, the location, the scale of the problem and what needs to be done to fix it. However, for a particular species in the middle of the Pacific— Tahiti Monarch—I can tell you that to prevent the last 10 breeding pairs from going extinct this coming year will cost $55,000. Not a huge amount of money in the scheme of things. These beautiful birds are threatened by introduced rats and ants which destroy their nests and eat their babies. You’ll find out how you can help them in this issue. Also this issue, we take look at the project being funded by an exciting new initiative developed by our Israeli Partner to raise funds for migratory bird conservation—Champions of the Flyways. The project, based in Georgia, is protecting birds at the Batumi Bottleneck. With more than one million migrating raptors of up to 35 species passing through the area each autumn, it is simply the greatest bottleneck for migrating birds of prey in all Eurasia.
The BirdLife Partnership is engaged in threatened species conservation across the globe. One Partner leading the way is BirdLife South Africa. You can find out what they are achieving on p.14. These all exemplify our commitment to prevent extinctions in the wild and to maintain and where possible improve the conservation status of all bird species. Saving species, that’s what we do.