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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.

  • Maleo
    What Maleos teach us about parenting, trust and the world we live in
    Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo), Sulawesi’s endemic birds, can inspire us about parenting, trust, and the world we live in. Marcy Summers, Project Director with the SOS grantee Alliance for Tompotika Cons...
  • Tree Kangaroo
    SOS at World Parks Congress
    It’s late Monday evening at the World Parks Congress and there is a party booming outside on the lawn. Despite the late hour, upstairs in Hall 2, Pod North is crammed with people. Organised by SOS – S...
  • 2011A-18, SOS, vultures
    Adapt or die: lessons from Vulture Conservation in South Asia
    For SOS Grantee Ananya Mukherjee, switching from dipstick technology to GPS-enabled bird-tagging was a classic case of adaptive management. Indeed it was one that allowed the larger vulture conservati...
  • 12A-037-020, Simon Mahood, Fishermen by the riverside, WCS Cambodia, SOS
    The quest for the Masked Finfoot
    Late August last year, Simon Mahood who works with SOS grantee and IUCN Member, WCS Cambodia, joined Rous Vann, one of the project team's most experienced biological monitoring staff on a quest. ...
  • 12A-037-048, White-shouldered Ibis Robert Martin-WCS, SOS Save Our Species
    The ibises of Tmatbauy village: a model for bird conservation in northern Cambodia?
    Tmatbauy village is a special place. Located in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, Tmatbauy is where to go to see the Critically Endangered Giant Ibis (Thaumatibis gigantean) and White-shouldered Ibis ...
  • 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