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Vital environmental indicators

Birds are beautiful, inspirational and international. They are excellent flagships and vital environmental indicators. 

Being widespread, well studied, and highly responsive to environmental change, birds are very valuable indicators of the health of the natural world. They tell us what is happening to everything else. If birds go extinct so will many other species.

Threatened with extinction

Of more than 10,000 bird species 13% are threatened with extinction and over 190 are classified as Critically Endangered (highest threat category) according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. 

If we don’t act now, we could lose many birds within 10 years. They are now facing a wider range of threats than ever before, almost entirely as a result of human activity. Major threats include agricultural expansion, logging, over-exploitation and climate change.

IUCN bird specialist groups

SOS bird projects build on the word leading bird expertise from 16 dedicated IUCN Bird Specialist Groups and international conservation organizations such as BirdLife International and Wetlands International.

  • Tiger photographed by camera-trap in Thailand
    Protecting our wild inheritance
    SOS founding partner, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) featured an article on SOS to mark World Wildlife Day, March 3 2014. Focusing on the extensive and varied work of SOS grantee projects to ad...
  • 2011A-18, SOS, vultures
    SOS Grantee Ananya Mukherjee on BBC World
    SOS grantee, Ananya Mukherjee, SAVE project coordinator features in BBC World's Power of Nature series. Ananya has shared her blog post to explain how the opportunity came about to raise the prof...
  • 12A_37_12, Eleanor Briggs, White-shouldered Ibis nest protector, Tmatboey village, WCS, SOS SAve OUr Species
    Successes in the field: The Bird’s Nest Protection Programme pays dividends
    SOS grantee Simon Mahood reports from the field as he works to protect some of Cambodia’s most threatened bird species. In a recent update Simon explained “We’re half way through the Giant Ibis (Thaum...
  • Maleo bird, Sulawesi, ALTO
    Sparing a thought for Maleo birds on World Egg Day
    Today is World Egg Day, when agribusiness promotes the consumption of eggs as a healthy source of protein. When it comes to one of Indonesia’s national icons however, the Endangered Maleo bird (Macroc...
  • 2011A-022, WWT, Roland Digby, SOS, Spoon-billed Sandpipers
    Spoon-billed sandpiper numbers boosted by conservationists
    Critically endangered spoon-billed sandpipers fledglings have increased in number by a quarter in 2013, after conservationists intervened to hand rear chicks.  
  • SOS, Philippine cockatoo, 2011A-019, Katala Foundation Inc, 11A-19-01B
    Philippine Cockatoo
  • SOS, UTI, Black breasted puffleg, 2011A-011, 11A-11-01B
    Black-breasted puffleg
  • SOS, 2011A-018, 11A-18-04B, vulture
    Oriental White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis in flight
SOS - Save Our Species
>> A global coalition to conserve threatened species and their habitats