July, 2014

Our work

Our work
You might be surprised to read that our work is far broader than nature reserves and Big Garden Birdwatch. Read more about what else we do.

Saving Species

The need for species conservation has never been greater. Despite notable successes in improving the fortunes of a number of bird species, more are being forced onto the list of those that need attention, both globally and in the UK. If we want to have a
  • How many species of bird are there?

    The short answer is, more than last week!

    BirdLife International has been working with Lynx Edicions on the production of the Handbook of the Birds of the World/BirdLife Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, which will become the taxonomic standard that underpins BirdLife’s work. Taxonomic changes for non-passerines (ie not the perching birds) will appear in Volume 1 of the Checklist (to be published in August 2014). Changes for passerines (the perchers) will appear in Volume 2 of the Checklist (probably in 2016).

    In total, the taxonomic work behind the Checklist has led to the recognition of 361 new species of non-passerines, all of which have been assessed against the Red List criteria and documented for the 2014 Red List update.  Additionally, the global status of a number of other species (both passerines and non-passerines) has been reviewed and revised, according to the latest available information.

    To find out more, visit the BirdLife webpage.  You can also join in taxonomic discussions on BirdLife's globally threatened bird forums, and find case studies in the Data Zone under State of the World's Birds.

    In case you think I had forgotten….overall, BirdLife now recognises a total of 10,426 species worldwide, of which 13% are threatened with extinction.

  • From Bangladesh to Nepal - more vulture updates and a tv link

    [By Chris Bowden our International Species Recovery Officer & Vulture SAVE Programme Manager]


    Another hectic trip within the region this time took me to participate at the National Vulture Action Plan meeting in Kathmandu. Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN – the BirdLife Partner), coordinated by Khadananda Paudel, who helped plan my visit. A rather different way to spend a Sunday morning! (Government offices are open Sunday to Friday in Nepal) and the attendance was very encouraging including the DG Wildlife – then followed by meeting various vulture partners with BCN the following day, including IUCN Nepal and National Trust for Nature Conservation. This gave me a chance to get to know and brief BCN’s new CEO, Narendra Pradhan who has just taken the helm, coming with great credentials from WWF Nepal and before that Nepal’s Government Wildlife Department.

     Vulture Action Plan Meeting, Nepal

    A further snippet from the Bangladesh visit the week before was the broadcasting of the national channel’s (Channel i) 25 minute program about the vulture issue Do watch on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQNNxgNSarQ&list=UUGEDq-IbxVFg01BspUOUa4w and please pass on particularly to any Bangladesh contacts... Our thanks to Prokriti O Jibon Foundation for permission to post this link, and in particular to TV host Muqeed Majumdar Babu who is actively taking up the vulture cause in Bangladesh.



    And Bird Conservation Nepal  www.birdlifenepal.org for more on the workshops and vulture news from Nepal


  • Bangladesh vulture work really taking off!

    [By Chris Bowden our International Species Recovery Officer & Vulture SAVE Programme Manager]

    After four high level meetings in Dhaka with senior Forest Department officials last week, and listening to what the Chief Conservator of Forests, and the Additional Secretary both had to say – I’m left feeling very upbeat on the prospects not only of making the diclofenac ban more effective in Bangladesh, but also for going the extra step to ban ketoprofen, (which although we know it’s also toxic to the vultures, has yet to be banned in any of the vulture range states)... could this be the lead we need to get it banned across South Asia??

    My colleague, Ananya Mukherjee and I were made extremely welcome by our IUCN Bangladesh hosts and indeed many more, including even the high level Forest department officials. Dipu of IUCN had carefully planned almost every minute of our time, and made the most of it to raise the profile of vultures. As well as appearing on the national TV news channels, we even did an environmental (Channel i) chat show with the famous Muqeed Majumdar Babu, and were able to reinforce those SAVE priority messages on air! In the end I could also visit the field and saw one wild Oriental white-backed vulture as well as meeting all the newly formed local Vulture Community Team at their inaugural meeting! Ananya shared experiences from India and Nepal and we came away thinking that with the level of Forest Department support shown so far, this work could end up setting the standards for others to follow.

    Thanks again to Dipu, Rasel and Khadja – the new IUCN-based vulture team for making it such a positive and welcoming week! I’m looking forward to the next visit in November with all SAVE Partners.


    Photo caption: Dipu of IUCN Bangladesh speaking at the Vulture Safe Zone meeting in Silyet. (Khadja is in orange) (photo: Chris Bowden)

     We got some excellent national press coverage links of meetings we attended:





    Our SAVE Vulture Programme site is http://www.save-vultures.org/