Beautiful, inspirational, but no less bizarre; the world’s most unique and threatened birds will soon be winging their way onto the EDGE of Existence website.
Arising during the Jurassic Period more than 150 million years ago, this diverse group is now found on every continent and in virtually every habitat. Numbering some 10,000 species today, they face mounting pressure from a host of human-driven threats including urbanisation, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, pollution, hunting, trapping for the pet trade, the introduction of invasive alien species, and the challenges of climate change. Over 150 species have been lost since 1500, twenty-one of which went extinct in the last thirty years alone. The stark reality is that one in eight bird species are now threatened with extinction.
In response to their plight, we are developing a new EDGE Birds conservation programme that will identify, promote and protect the 100 most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) bird species. These imperilled birds have few close relatives and so embody disproportionately large amounts of unique evolutionary history – if lost, there would be nothing quite like them left in the world.
Like EDGE Mammals and EDGE Amphibians before, the aim of EDGE Birds will be to put these species on the map and catalyse the conservation actions urgently needed to secure their future.
To achieve this we will: