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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.

  • 11A-22-05
    Stealing eggs to save a species in Chukotka
    Recently in Chukotka, far-eastern Russia, SOS grantee Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) began another season of collecting eggs from Spoon-billed Sandpiper nests – in a bid to help save the species. R...
  • 11A-22-81, Slimbridge spoonie, SOS Save Our Species, WWT, Headstarting
    Eggs mean fresh hope for spoon-billed sandpipers
    One of the world’s rarest birds has a new hope: it has just started laying eggs in captivity for the first time according to a press release from previous SOS grantee and IUCN Member, Wildfowl and Wet...
  • 11A-22-75, 1 Egg collection, 16 June 2015, by Nikolai Yakushev, SOS Save Our Species, Spoon-billed Sandpiper
    Giving Spoon-billed Sandpipers a head-start on the long journey back from the brink of extinction
    Marking World Migratory Bird Day 2016, Rebecca Lee of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), an SOS grantee, reflects on the transformation in survival prospects for this Critically Endangered and dim...
  • White winged duck
    Ten years of Birds’ Nest Protection in Cambodia
    SOS is delighted to share project activities, challenges and successes to date of the Birds’ Nest protection programme. Project team leader, Simon Mahood, Technical Advisor with the IUCN member Wildli...
  • 13A-069-022 Tagging oceanic manta rays 2, Socorro Islands, Mexico _ Josh Stewart, SOS Save Our Species, Manta Trust
    To have healthy oceans we need healthy marine wildlife
    According to the United Nations, World Oceans Day is about a healthy planet being based on healthy oceans – so true and in so many ways! The ecological pressures on Earth’s oceans are as diverse and d...
  • 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