Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The State of the World's Birds report

click for larger--screen capture of map in report

In case you haven't seen this, birdy pals, it's a report titled "The State of the World's Birds" done by an organization called BirdLife.

I'd never heard of this organization, but the report is fascinating (if depressing). It claims to be "a brief summary of the information available on BirdLife’s State of the world’s birds website. Using the most up-to-date analyses, it outlines why birds and biodiversity are important, what we know about the changing state of the world’s birds (STATE), why birds are declining (PRESSURE) and what can be done to improve their status (RESPONSE). It presents and lists a small sample of the case studies providing evidence for these messages and examples of BirdLife’s work. For more detailed information on these and other case studies, visit BirdLife’s State of the world’s birds website and database at www.birdlife.org/sowb"

The weird thing is this: I got to the last page, where the heading read, "BirdLife comprises more than 100 conservation organisations working together to promote sustainable living as a means to conserve biodiversity." Then there was a collection of little logos from all these countries--but no USA. I don't get it. Is this organization for real? Is it just not needed here in the USA? (as if!) Does anyone know more about BirdLife? I'm just curious. I mean, I'm not exactly up on the latest info on birds and stuff; I'm just a backyard birdwatcher who tries to go birding elsewhere whenever I can. Still--anyone ever heard of them?

Anyway--the report contains so much information, some of it simply mind-blowing. Did you know that, according to Birdview, "Human uses have been recorded for one purpose or another for 45% of the world’s nearly 10,000 bird species. Over a third of species are kept as pets and around one in seven is hunted for food. It is difficult to know how many individual birds are used, although it is estimated that between half a billion and one billion songbirds are hunted each year in Europe alone, for sport and food." HOLY CRAP. I knew that parrots and other exotic birds are huge dollars for the pet industry (hey, I watched Romancing the Stone; I know all about those parrot poachers down in South America!), but songbirds hunted "for sport and food" in Europe? Are they eating finches over there or what? Shooting warblers? What is going on over there!?

Go check it out. Let me know what you think.

12 comments:

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Hey, Niblet, come over to our blog and vote to have the rescue organization we came from get a grant!
Your pals in spots,
Tyler and Sydney
PS very cute pics of you in previous post, spotted dude.

KGMom said...

Delia--I don't have answers to your questions--but most interesting that you should be posting on this topic, as I am reading an article on cassowaries in the latest Smithsonian mag.
Confluence of ideas!

dguzman said...

DMoll--I've been voting on that site for a week now, trying to get our local Hundred Cat Foundation (long story) in there. I'll vote for you guys' organization tomorrow! And thanks for coming by to say hi! -Niblet

Donna--I guess so! Synchronicity.

John said...

I have been on BirdLife's email list for a while. When I was doing Loose Feathers, I would frequently pull stories from their site. They always have interesting reports (and great illustrations).

I believe that there is no "BirdLife USA" because Audubon takes its place here. NAS does most of the same work that the various national BirdLife affiliates do, and NAS provides the US data for the annual state of the birds reports and IUCN Red List.

Matty Boy said...

You gotta get yourself to Brazil, girl!

I hear they have some cute girls there, too!

dguzman said...

John--I wondered about whether Audubon pretty much covered the bases. Thanks for the info--I should've known you'd have the scoop.

Matty Boy--birds and birds, chicks and chics! oh my!

Mary said...

Delia, I'll read that report and it might move me but I doubt it. Reports are written with slant and I'm always sceptical... I listen to my local audubon listserv - the real eye's view.

KatDoc said...

Delia: I don't know that organization, but my eye was caught by your comment about Romancing the Stone.

Next time you pop that movie in the DVD player, listen carefully during the scene in the wrecked plane. Michael Douglas' character talks about losing Sulfur-crested Cockatoos (Australian species) and "gentled red tails" (meaning African Grays.) Neither of which he could have caught in South America. It irks me when movies get it wrong!

~kathi, the picky one

dguzman said...

Mary--well, it mainly says birds are in trouble, which is probably true. Sad.

KatDoc--sheesh--you'd think they could get something like that right!

Robby said...

D,
I like your blog. I have a snake blog that I think you will find entertaining, maybe even familiar. http://www.snakeadventures.blogspot.com If you like the blog, can we exhange links?
Robby
snakeadventures@hotmail.com
thanks

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Thanks Niblet, you cute spotted bun !

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