The Rare Birds Yearbook 2009 is out and it is terrible. Terrible in the fact that such a book needs to exist. Terrible that the world’s 190 most threatened birds face potential extinction. Thankfully, that is where the terribleness ends and some hope arrives.
Much like the 2008 version (Rare Birds Yearbook 2008: The World’s 189 Most Threatened Birds), Rare Birds Yearbook 2009 covers a lot about the good focused conservation efforts can bring about. There are numerous articles of information that begins the book which cover a wide array of topics:
- Conservation Works
- California Condor – how condors are adapting to life in the “modern” world
- The Role of Biodiversity – where editor Erik Hirschfeld discusses hot conservation topics with expert conservationist Dr. Nigel Collar
- Bamboo Specialists – Birds of the Atlantic Forest
- Religion, Tradition, and Bird Conservation
- Haribon – which covers the search for the “King of All Birds”, the Philippines Eagle
- and more…
The main part of the Yearbook is of course the directory that covers 190 Critically Endangered species. Each species received two, one, or a half page and includes a photo (or illustration if no photo is available), map of breeding range, population number and trend, reason(s) for listing, and threats that have led to this status. 130 new photos were added, much of which came from the photo competition held in close association with Birdlife International.
Many of the birds featured face dangerously uncertain futures and sadly, some may already be a lost cause. Sixty Critically Endangered species were covered in 2008 but are not part of the 2009 edition because there is either no new information and/or there has been no recorded sightings.
However, there is still hope as long as we act now and come out in full force. You can start by purchasing this book from www.rarebirdsyearbook.com where Â£4 [~$5.63] of the Â£18.95 [$26.65] price goes straight to bird conservation. That’s over 20% of the sale price.