Birdlife International, the world's largest conservation Partnership, has a programme called ‘Preventing Extinctions” whose entire focus is to prevent all bird species globally from going extinct! And we’re partnering with them (name a cooler duo, we dare you) and releasing the Criticals Collection.
THE CRITICALS COLLECTION
Our Criticals Collection is a range of 5 extremely endangered birds, thoughtfully designed and personalised by our amazing artists. Not every one of these five bird species has an organisation looking out for it, so the best way to help is to donate to places that have the largest impact. We want the funds to do the maximum amount of good, for the largest range of endangered birds, and we’re confident Preventing Extinctions can pull that off.
As some of these birds have chillingly small populations of between 80-250 worldwide, our Criticals Collection will release only 300 of each bird, making them rare and unique objects. With 30% of the proceeds going directly to ‘Preventing Extinctions’, we would love you to be a part of this, because believe it or not, birds are very close to our hearts.
Here’s the thing though. Even if you don’t order a bird from our Criticals Collection, we encourage you to donate directly to BirdLife International to help prevent extinctions, as they’re doing the selfless, invaluable work of keeping endangered species alive and attempting to repopulate them. For these birds, the line between endangerment and extinction is paper thin, and aid is urgently needed. We’re making it as easy as possible, putting a donate button up on our website that directs the funds straight to them!
We really hope you join us in supporting critically endangered birds, both locally and around the world.
How does BirdLife International’s Preventing Extinctions programme make an impact?
This year, BirdLife International celebrates their 100th anniversary. A century on, BirdLife International is a global voice for nature. They work with 117 partners around the globe, with a legacy of protecting the natural world. And now, you can be part of that legacy.
Our planet is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction event, with climate change, habitat destruction and other human activities devastating the diversity of life on the planet. But while the crisis is undeniably urgent, there’s also hope. Humans may create huge challenges – but with enough support, dedication and resources, we can also reverse them.
There are some particularly shining examples in the bird world. Their flagship report, State of the World’s Birds, finds that 25 bird species have been rescued from the Critically Endangered category since 2000, thanks to conservation action. And that’s not counting the 21-32 bird species that would have vanished altogether without intervention.
Many of these recoveries were made possible with the help of BirdLife International’s Preventing Extinction Programme. Underpinned by their science, they work by pairing ‘species champions’ – individuals or organisations that provide funding – with ‘species guardians’ – often BirdLife International Partners – who can make the action happen on the ground. To date, the programme has benefited at least 483 threatened bird species.
THE CRITICALS COLLECTION
The Philippine Eagle, national bird of the Philippines, is one of the world’s largest and most powerful birds of prey, capable of taking on sizeable mammal prey. It is also one of the rarest, driven to the brink to extinction mainly by habitat loss, but also persecution by humans. The Haribon Foundation, BirdLife in the Philippines, is working to protect the eagle and its habitat in the Sierra Madre on the island of Luzon, while raising awareness and fostering local pride in this magnificent bird’s presence.
A beautiful grassland species without close relatives, the Lesser Florican has extraordinary ornamentation in the form of long, curling black ribbon-like feathers projecting backwards far behind the head, used in an equally remarkable display of fluttering jumps. It is virtually confined to India and fewer than 500 remain, but the Bombay Natural History Society, BirdLife in India, is working to conserve and restore its dwindling habitat and tackle direct mortality from a range of causes.
Breeding only in the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, this has become one of Europe’s rarest birds, among the few in the region treated as Critically Endangered. Its survival is threatened at sea by fisheries, and on land (where it nests) from predation by introduced mammals. Conservation programmes by BirdLife are helping to tackle both these threats, including working with fishing fleets to modify their practices without reducing catches.
Originally found throughout most of New Zealand, the Black Stilt is now restricted to a small part of the South Island. It is a striking and entirely black bird, including its long, needle-like bill, (excluding two very long, red legs). Introduced mammals were the main cause of its decline to a low-point of four breeding pairs, though habitat loss and disturbance also played a part. Thanks to intensive management of wild and captive populations and wetland habitats, numbers are now increasing, but fewer than 100 remain, making this the rarest wading bird in the world.
This magnificent species once occurred widely in the old-growth forests of the southern USA and Cuba, but declined dramatically due to hunting and habitat destruction. After many years without sightings, it has become symbolic of impending extinction and is counted among the ‘Lost Birds’. Tantalising glimpses and other lines of evidence have suggested that it may yet survive, and many believe it remains out there, albeit in tiny numbers. BirdLife International does not treat it as Extinct, and is supporting a programme to search for Lost Species of birds, such as this one.
Buy purchasing a bird you’re helping prevent extinctions.
Like the Kaua’i ō’ō.
We want to tell you about the last song of the Kaua’i ‘ō’ō, a dainty and beautiful honeyeater native to Hawaii. In 1987, the once abundant population of the Kaua’i ō’ō had dwindled down to a single bird. A travelling ornithologist made an audio recording of that bird singing his courtship song to an empty forest, unaware that he was the last of his kind, calling out for company that would never arrive. The bird was declared extinct not long afterwards, due to environmental destruction and invasive predatory species.