Only about a quarter of globally threatened birds have benefited from conservation actions but this is partly because this analysis includes research actions (which lay the foundations for effective conservation management). The challenge now is to build on this accumulated knowledge to prioritise direct interventions for threatened species. For the highest priority species, a review of those direct actions (i.e. excluding research) that have been implemented shows that 55% have benefited from conservation.
Although 67% of threatened birds have had at least some action implemented since 2000, not all these actions have yet benefited the species directly. For only 24% of threatened birds has this been the case, by mitigating threats or through inferred effects on population size, trends, or productivity (although not necessarily yet resulting in a change in IUCN Red List Category). For only 4% of species is the benefit judged to be significant. For 26% of species, the action has had no direct benefit yet, and for the remaining 17% where one or more actions have been implemented, the effects are unknown (analysis of data held in BirdLife’s World Bird Database 2004; see figure). Actions that have not directly benefited species have not necessarily been ineffective, because many involve essential research on, for example, distribution, population size or cause of declines. Research may not immediately benefit the species, but it paves the way for effective conservation management. The challenge is now to follow up our improved knowledge with urgent implementation of direct interventions to reduce declines or increase populations.
For those Critically Endangered birds that face the greatest risk of extinction effective conservation actions are an urgent priority. In 2008, a review of those direct actions (i.e. excluding research) that have been implemented for these species shows that 55% have benefited from conservation (analysis of data held in BirdLife’s World Bird Database 2008).
Compiled 2004, updated 2008
BirdLife International (2008) Are actions having any effects?. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: . Checked: