Subtitled “the world’s 189 most threatened birds”, Rare Birds Yearbook 2008 is a depressing yet wonderfully crafted reference book. The birds featured are the rarest of the rare, some of which have not been seen for many years and may well be extinct.
These 189 birds are all classified as Critically Endangered according to IUCNredlist.org. Many of these disappearing birds are starting to make a comeback while others are struggling to get the conservation they deserve.
However, this reference/rare bird guide offers insights into ways we can all help reduce the risk of many of these birds from vanishing forever. Of course many of these birds are far away from our home, but supporting the conservation organizations that are working in foreign lands, can help where we can’t.
Each of the 189 birds is given a 1/2, full, or 2 pages of information. Most of the birds have photos and each has an overview map, conservation information, and what is needed to conserve the species.
Much of the data comes from Birdlife International, the premiere international bird conservation group. By purchasing this book, over $6.00 goes to Birdlife International to help fund their Preventing Extinctions initiative which intends to raise $39,000,000 over the next five years. This is certainly a lofty goal, but reachable with all the countries and organizations involved.
Besides the species accounts, there are stories about four “species-finders”, those that quest to find new birds or rediscover old ones. Also of value is the large list of conservation organizations, complete with contact information, that are partners of Birdlife International.
For those with the time and money, there is even a list of birding tour companies that will take you to see many of the rare birds listed in the yearbook. Supporting ecotourism is certainly a great way to ensure strong conservation efforts get put into place.
Birdlife International has around 2.5 million members and 8 million supporters among the 100 plus organizations all over the globe. We urge you, as bird conservationists to donate and support them by going to www.birdlife.org.